The ground state of quantum chromodynamics in sufficiently strong external magnetic fields and at moderate baryon chemical potential is a chiral soliton lattice (CSL) of neutral pions . We investigate the interplay between the CSL structure and dynamical electromagnetic fields. Our main result is that in presence of the CSL background, the two physical photon polarizations and the neutral pion mix, giving rise to two gapped excitations and one gapless mode with a nonrelativistic dispersion relation. The nature of this mode depends on the direction of its propagation, interpolating between a circularly polarized electromagnetic wave  and a neutral pion surface wave, which in turn arises from the spontaneously broken translation invariance. Quite remarkably, there is a neutral-pion-like mode that remains gapped even in the chiral limit, in seeming contradiction to the Goldstone theorem. Finally, we have a first look at the effect of thermal fluctuations of the CSL, showing that even the soft nonrelativistic excitation does not lead to the Landau-Peierls instability. However, it leads to an anomalous contribution to pressure that scales with temperature and magnetic field as T5/2(B/fπ )3/2.
Phase Diagram of QCD Topological States of Matter Effective Field Theories
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