You can't play nano-billiards on a bumpy table

Monday, May 14, 2012 - 11:30 in Physics & Chemistry

There's nothing worse than a shonky pool table with an unseen groove or bump that sends your shot off course: a new study has found that the same goes at the nano-scale, where the "billiard balls" are tiny electrons moving across a "table" made of the semiconductor gallium arsenide. Physicists have shown that in this game of "semiconductor billiards," small bumps have an unexpectedly large effect on the paths that electrons follow.

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