Violation of Kirchhoff's Laws for a Coherent RC Circuit

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Science  28 Jul 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5786, pp. 499-502
DOI: 10.1126/science.1126940

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What is the complex impedance of a fully coherent quantum resistance-capacitance (RC) circuit at gigahertz frequencies in which a resistor and a capacitor are connected in series? While Kirchhoff's laws predict addition of capacitor and resistor impedances, we report on observation of a different behavior. The resistance, here associated with charge relaxation, differs from the usual transport resistance given by the Landauer formula. In particular, for a single-mode conductor, the charge-relaxation resistance is half the resistance quantum, regardless of the transmission of the mode. The new mesoscopic effect reported here is relevant for the dynamical regime of all quantum devices.

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