We consider a model of electrons in a finite topological insulator. We numerically study the propagation of electronic wave-packets localized near edges of the structure in the presence of defects and random disorder. We compare the propagation with computations of the spectral localizer index: a spatially local topological index. We find that without disorder, wave-packets propagate along boundaries between regions of differing spectral localizer index with minimal loss, even in the presence of strong defects. With disorder, wave-packets still propagate along boundaries between regions of differing localizer index, but lose significant mass as they propagate. We also find that with disorder, the localizer gap, a measure of the localizer index “strength”, is generally smaller away from the boundary than without disorder. Based on this result, we conjecture that wave-packets propagating along boundaries between regions of differing spectral localizer index do not lose significant mass whenever the localizer gap is sufficiently large on both sides of the boundary.
"Wave-packet propagation in a finite topological insulator and the spectral localizer index." Involve 14 (2) 209 - 239, 2021. https://doi.org/10.2140/involve.2021.14.209