Konstantinov and Kono cooled liquid helium-3 to 0.3 kelvin. They supplied electrons from a nearby hot filament, and applied voltage to a plate below the helium to control the number of electrons per unit area. Then, they fired microwave radiation at the 2DEG (Fig. 1) and measured the longitudinal conductivity— the current induced by an electric field applied along one direction—as a function of external magnetic field. They saw that the conductivity periodically fell to zero as they increased the magnetic field. When they switched off the source of microwave photons, however, this effect ceased.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Microwave photons can nullify the conductivity of electrons confined to the surface of liquid helium
Microwave photons can nullify the conductivity of electrons confined to the surface of liquid helium: Two-dimensional electron gases form naturally at the surface of helium because an intrinsic energy barrier prevents electrons from penetrating any deeper into the liquid. These gases vary markedly from their three-dimensional counterparts because the electron motion in one direction becomes quantized—that is, their velocity in this direction is governed by quantum mechanics and is restricted to a range of discrete values.