Electron Waiting Times in Mesoscopic Conductors – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Electron Waiting Times in Mesoscopic Conductors

Electron transport in mesoscopic conductors has traditionally involved investigations of the mean current and the fluctuations of the current. A complementary view on charge transport is provided by the distribution of waiting times between charge carriers, but a proper theoretical framework for coherent electronic systems has so far been missing. In this talk I describe a quantum theory of electron waiting times in mesoscopic conductors expressed by a compact determinant formula [1,2]. As an illustrative example I consider the waiting time distribution for a quantum point contact which exhibits a crossover from Wigner-Dyson statistics at full transmission to Poisson statistics close to pinch-off. Even when the low-frequency transport is noiseless, the electrons are not equally spaced in time due to their inherent wave nature. I discuss the implications for renewal theory in mesoscopic systems and point out analogies with level spacing statistics and random matrix theory.

[1] M. Albert, C. Flindt, and M. Büttiker, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 086805 (2011)

[2] M. Albert, G. Haack, C. Flindt, and M. Büttiker, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 186806 (2012)


Talk by Christian Flindt, University of Geneva