Nonequilibrium Quantum Transport, - what’s the problem? – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Nonequilibrium Quantum Transport, - what’s the problem?

Niels Bohr Inaugural lecture by Jens Paaske

An exciting merger between chemistry and physics at the nanometer scale is currently taking place, and massive efforts are being invested in the invention of electronic components comprised by a single molecule contacted by metallic wires.
From a technological perspective, the prospect of smaller and cheaper electronic devices is obviously interesting, and from a chemistry perspective this effort will in many ways realize a long-standing dream of doing spectroscopy of a single molecule. From the physics perspective, however, one may well ask if this quest will reward us with much more than a confirmation of Ohm's law? After all, we understand molecules and we understand metallic wires, so what is indeed the problem?
In this lecture, I will outline some of the surprisingly complex physics which emerges when assembling wires and molecule, and answer parts of the seemingly benign physics problem: How do electrons traverse a region of roughly nano-meter extent?