Oct 18, 2000
Physics of "Which Layer?" Uncertainty
Dr. Steven Girvin, ITP & Indiana University
It is now possible to create layers of two-dimensional electron gases in
close proximity to each other inside a semiconductor host material. One of
the strange features of quantum mechanics is that we can put the electrons
into a quantum state in which we are uncertain which of the layers they are
in. Such "broken symmetry" or 'interlayer phase coherent' states are
energetically favored by the strong Coulomb interactions among the
electrons and lead to several different remarkable phenomena. In
particular, a close analog of the superconducting Josephson effect has
recently been observed experimentally. An elementary introduction to these
remarkable developments will be presented.
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