Spectral properties of the critical (1+1)-dimensional Abelian-Higgs model

The presence of gauge symmetry in 1+1 dimensions is known to be redundant, since it does not imply the existence of dynamical gauge bosons. As a consequence, in the continuum, the Abelian-Higgs model (i.e., the theory of bosonic matter interacting with photons) just possesses a single phase, as the higher-dimensional Higgs and Coulomb phases are connected via nonperturbative effects. However, recent research published in Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 090601 (2022) has revealed an unexpected phase transition when the system is discretized on the lattice. This transition is described by a conformal field theory with a central charge of 𝑐=3/2. In this paper, we aim to characterize the two components of this 𝑐=3/2 theory—namely the free Majorana fermionic and bosonic parts—through equilibrium and out-of-equilibrium spectral analyses.