The Free Fermion Anomaly and Representations of the Pin Groups
Published 2018-09-13Version 1
We consider a duality between a boson on a ring and a free fermion and show that they have an anomaly which corresponds to the states transforming under double covers of O(2). There are two (in general not isometric) double covers of O(2), known as Pin$_+(2)$ and Pin$_-(2)$. These can in general be distinguished at the group level by checking whether reflections square to $\pm 1$. We show that in irreducible representations in complex Hilbert spaces the commutation of time reversal and charge conjugation gives another method for distinguishing Pin$_+(2)$ and Pin$_-(2)$. While we only demonstrate the duality for a single fermion, the anomaly is also present in any number of free fermions. For an even number of fermions we show that the two double covers of O(2n) are isomorphic. For an odd number of fermions we show that the distinction between irreducible representations of Pin$_+$ and Pin$_-$ can still be detected by the commutation of time reversal and charge conjugation namely Pin$_\pm(2n)$ will have $TCT = \pm C$.