Physics colloquium: Single-electron counting in quantum metrology and in statistical mechanics

Ecole de physique
Département de physique nucléaire et corspusculaire

24, quai Ernest-Ansermet
1211 Genève 4
Tél.: (022) 379 62 73
Fax: (022) 379 69 92olé


Lundi 17 octobre 2011
17h00 - Ecole de Physique, Auditoire Stueckelberg

« Single-electron counting in quantum metrology and in statistical mechanics »
Prof. Jukka Pekola
Low Temperature Laboratory, Aalto University Helsinki, Finland


First I discuss the basics of single-electron tunneling and its potential applications in metrology. My main focus is in developing an accurate source of single-electron current for the realization of the unit ampere. I discuss the principle and the present status of the so-called single- electron turnstile. Investigation of errors in transporting electrons one by one has revealed a wealth of observations on fundamental phenomena in mesoscopic superconductivity, including individual Andreev tunneling events, photon assisted tunneling, and virtually quasi-particle free superconductivity.

In the second part of the talk I present how single-electron counting can provide a critical test of fluctuation relations of statistical mechanics. I present predictions on a simple model system, a single-electron box, and preliminary experimental results on it. I conclude by discussing a proposal of Maxwell’s demon based on gathering information by a single-electron electrometer.

Une verrée en compagnie du conférencier sera offerte après le colloque.

Prof. Markus Büttiker


by Geneva University