Higher-Than-Ballistic Conduction of Viscous Electron Flows (MIT & Weizmann)

Under certain specialized conditions, electrons can speed through a narrow opening in a piece of metal more easily than traditional theory says is possible

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Source:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot  Israel
Haoyu Guo, Ekin Ilseven, Gregory Falkovich, Leonid Levitov

“A new finding by physicists at MIT and in Israel shows that under certain specialized conditions, electrons can speed through a narrow opening in a piece of metal more easily than traditional theory says is possible.

This “superballistic” flow resembles the behavior of gases flowing through a constricted opening, however it takes place in a quantum-mechanical electron fluid, says MIT physics professor Leonid Levitov, who is the senior author of a paper describing the finding that appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In these constricted passageways, whether for gases passing through a tube or electrons moving through a section of metal that narrows to a point, it turns out that the more, the merrier: Big bunches of gas molecules, or big bunches of electrons, move faster than smaller numbers passing through the same bottleneck.” (Source: MIT News)

Click here for technical paper.

New research shows that electrons passing through a narrow constriction in a piece of metal can move much faster than expected, and that they move faster if there are more of them — a seemingly paradoxical result. In this illustration, the orange surface represents the potential energy needed to get an electron moving, and the “valley” at center represents the constricted portion. (Source: MIT)

New research shows that electrons passing through a narrow constriction in a piece of metal can move much faster than expected, and that they move faster if there are more of them — a seemingly paradoxical result. In this illustration, the orange surface represents the potential energy needed to get an electron moving, and the “valley” at center represents the constricted portion. (Source: MIT)