Topological waves in fluids with odd viscosity

Anton Souslov, Kinjal Dasbiswas, Michel Fruchart, Suriyanarayanan Vaikuntanathan, Vincenzo Vitelli

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Fluids in which both time-reversal and parity are broken can display a dissipationless viscosity that is odd under each of these symmetries. Here, we show how this odd viscosity has a dramatic effect on topological sound waves in fluids, including the number and spatial profile of topological edge modes. Odd viscosity provides a short-distance cutoff that allows us to define a bulk topological invariant on a compact momentum space. As the sign of odd viscosity changes, a topological phase transition occurs without closing the bulk gap. Instead, at the transition point, the topological invariant becomes ill-defined because momentum space cannot be compactified. This mechanism is unique to continuum models and can describe fluids ranging from electronic to chiral active systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number128001
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
Early online date26 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

8 pages including Supplementary Information, 3 figures. See for Supplementary Movie


  • cond-mat.soft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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