The relation between quantum spin chains and conformal field theories is reexamined. Using a generalized Hubbard model representation it is argued that the critical theory for generic half-odd-integer spin antiferromagnets is the Wess-Zumino-Witten model (WZW model) with topological coupling, k=1, whereas generic integer spin antiferromagnets have an energy gap. The higher-k WZW models (which describe integrable higher spin models) are multicritical points in the space of all spin Hamiltonians. The k=1 WZW model represents a stable fixed point for many theories including WZW models of arbitrary odd k with relevant operators added, generalized Hubbard or Thirring models with an odd number of colors and the O(3) σ model at topological angle θ=π.
- Received 30 March 1987
- Published in the issue dated 1 October 1987
© 1987 The American Physical Society