Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Metamaterials experts show a way to reduce electrons' effective mass to nearly zero

Metamaterials experts show a way to reduce electrons' effective mass to nearly zero: Their idea was born out of the similarities and analogies between the mathematics that govern electromagnetic waves—Maxwell's Equations—and those that govern the quantum mechanics of electrons—Schr√∂dinger's Equations...


A semiconductor's qualities stem from the lattice-like pattern its constituent atoms are arranged in; an electron must navigate the electric potentials of all of these atoms, moving faster or slower depending on how directly it can pass by them. Esaki and his colleagues showed that, by making a superlattice out of layers of different materials, they could produce a composite material that had different electron transport properties than either of the components...

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