ABSTRACT: We examine the onset of classical topological order in a nearest neighbour kagome ice model. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we characterize the topological sectors of the ground state using a nonlocal cut measure which circumscribes the toroidal geometry of the simulation cell. We demonstrate that simulations which employ global loop updates that are allowed to wind around the periodic boundaries cause the topological sector to fluctuate, while restricted local loop updates freeze the simulation into one topological sector. The freezing into one topological sector can also be observed in the susceptibility of the real magnetic spin vectors projected onto the kagome plane. The ability of the susceptibility to distinguish between fluctuating and non-fluctuating topological sectors should motivate its use as a local probe of topological order in a variety of related systems.
Journal of Physics Condensed Matter 04/2011; 23(16):164208. · 2.55 Impact Factor