Topological Gaseous Plasmon Polariton in Realistic Plasma

Phys Rev Lett. 2020 May 15;124(19):195001. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.195001.


Nontrivial topology in bulk matter has been linked with the existence of topologically protected interfacial states. We show that a gaseous plasmon polariton (GPP), an electromagnetic surface wave existing at the boundary of magnetized plasma and vacuum, has a topological origin that arises from the nontrivial topology of magnetized plasma. Because a gaseous plasma cannot sustain a sharp interface with discontinuous density, one must consider a gradual density falloff with scale length comparable to or longer than the wavelength of the wave. We show that the GPP may be found within a gapped spectrum in present-day laboratory devices, suggesting that platforms are currently available for experimental investigation of topological wave physics in plasmas.