How Hot Electrons Get Cool

2021-07-14T10:22:47-06:00
03/16
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Thermalizing nanowires

It’s a hot summer day. You desperately want something cold to drink, but unfortunately, your bottle of root beer has been sitting in a hot car all day. You put it into a bucket full of ice to cool it down. But it’s taking forever! How, you wonder, could you speed the process up? The same question is important for understanding how electronic devices work, and how we can make them work better by controlling the temperature of the electrons that power them. Read on to find out what a bottle of root beer in a cooler full of ice and a nanowire in a vat of liquid helium have in common!

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How Hot Electrons Get Cool2021-07-14T10:22:47-06:00

Heat Flow and Quantum Oscillators

2021-07-14T10:28:06-06:00
11/05
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Good vibrations

Materials that are absolutely perfect—in other words, materials that contain no defect of any kind—are usually not very interesting. Imagine being married to a saint: you would quickly be bored out of your mind! Defects and impurities can considerably change many properties of materials in ways that allow a wide range of applications.

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Heat Flow and Quantum Oscillators2021-07-14T10:28:06-06:00

Swing-Dancing Electron Pairs

2021-07-14T10:44:45-06:00
02/19
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Superconductors

Superconductors are materials that permit electrical current to flow without energy loss. Their amazing properties form the basis for MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) devices and high-speed maglev trains, as well as emerging technologies such as quantum computers. At the heart of all superconductors is the bunching of electrons into pairs. Click the image to learn more about the "dancing" behavior of these electron pairs!

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Swing-Dancing Electron Pairs2021-07-14T10:44:45-06:00

Superfluid helium and black holes

2021-07-14T10:53:26-06:00
09/05
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An entangled connection

At low temperatures, helium—the same substance that makes balloons float—becomes a special type of liquid known as a superfluid, which has zero viscosity. It's like the anti-molasses! The properties of superfluids are governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. More specifically, the atoms in superfluid helium are “entangled” with each other, allowing them to share information and influence each other’s behavior in ways that are totally foreign to our everyday experience, and which Einstein famously described as "spooky action at a distance." Better still, scientists have recently discovered that the law controlling entanglement between different parts of a helium superfluid is the same as that governing the exotic behavior of black holes in outer space.

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Superfluid helium and black holes2021-07-14T10:53:26-06:00

Let There Be Light! (And a Little Bit of Magnetism)

2021-07-14T11:01:30-06:00
03/01
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The wonderful world of complex oxides

One of the oldest and most studied materials in all of physics and materials science has been shown to display magnetism when illuminated with a certain type of light.

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Let There Be Light! (And a Little Bit of Magnetism)2021-07-14T11:01:30-06:00
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