Ballistic Transport is Dissipative: The Why and How

Mukunda Das, Fergus Green

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    In the ballistic limit, the Landauer conductance steps of a mesoscopic quantum wire have been explained by coherent and dissipationless transmission of individual electrons across a one-dimensional barrier. This leaves untouched the central issue of conduction: a quantum wire, albeit ballistic, has finite resistance and so must dissipate energy. Exactly how does the quantum wire shed its excess electrical energy? We show that the answer is provided, uniquely, by many-body quantum kinetics. Not only does this inevitably lead to universal quantization of the conductance, in spite of dissipation; it fully resolves a baffling experimental result in quantum-point-contact noise. The underlying physics rests crucially upon the action of the conservation laws in these open metallic systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)V13-V16
    JournalJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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