Quantum Limit of Heat Flow Across a Single Electronic Channel

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Science  03 Oct 2013:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1241912

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Quantum physics predicts that there is a fundamental maximum heat conductance across a single transport channel, and that this thermal conductance quantum GQ is universal, independent of the type of particles carrying the heat. Such universality, combined with the relationship between heat and information, signals a general limit on information transfer. We report on the quantitative measurement of the quantum limited heat flow for Fermi particles across a single electronic channel, using noise thermometry. The demonstrated agreement with the predicted GQ establishes experimentally this basic building block of quantum thermal transport. The achieved accuracy of below 10% opens access to many experiments involving the quantum manipulation of heat.

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