New York Journal of Mathematics
Volume 23 (2017) 1111-1140


Terry A. Loring and Hermann Schulz-Baldes

Finite volume calculation of K-theory invariants

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Published: August 29, 2017
Keywords: K-theory, spectral flow, topological insulator
Subject: 46L80, 19K56, 58J28

Odd index pairings of K1-group elements with Fredholm modules are of relevance in index theory, differential geometry and applications such as to topological insulators. For the concrete setting of operators on a Hilbert space over a lattice, it is shown how to calculate the resulting index as the signature of a suitably constructed finite-dimensional matrix, more precisely the finite volume restriction of what we call the spectral localizer. In presence of real symmetries, secondary Z2-invariants can be obtained as the sign of the Pfaffian of the spectral localizer. These results reconcile two complementary approaches to invariants of topological insulators.


The first author was in part supported by a grant from the Simons Foundation (#419432). The second author was in part supported by the DFG

Author information

Terry A. Loring:
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of New Mexico, USA

Hermann Schulz-Baldes:
Department Mathematik, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany