Nanoelectronics: How does the resistance of a conductor change as we shrink its length all the way down to a few atoms? This is a question that has intrigued scientists for a long time, but it is only during the last twenty years that it has become possible for experimentalists to provide clear answers, leading to enormous progress in our understanding. There is also great applied interest in this question at this time, since every computer we buy has about a billion transistors that rely on controlling the flow of electrons through a conductor a few hundred atoms in length.
This lecture is designed as an introduction for the beginner who will hopefully feel sufficiently intrigued to look at more in-depth lectures like the Nanoelectronics and the Meaning of Resistance or even take the full-semester undergraduate and graduate courses we have developed that assume no prior background other than linear algebra.
ME 118, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN