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This Week at Physics

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Event Number 1869

  Friday, September 24th, 2010

Physics Department Colloquium
Bose Condensation, Superfluidity, and the Quantum Hall Effect
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 3:30 pm)
Speaker: Jim Eisenstein, Caltech
Abstract: Composite particles consisting of an even number of fermions(e.g. 4He atoms) can pretend to be bosons. Bosons, of course, can Bose condense and do remarkable things. Superconductivity, which is certainly remarkable when you stop to think about it, result(sort of) from the Bose condensation of electron pairs. With this in mind, theorists have speculated since the early 1960s that excitons (electron-hole pairs in a semiconductor) might be able to do the same thing.

In this talk I will describe experiments done at Caltech on a special collection of excitons that exists in equilibrium and does indeed show many (but not all) of the expected signs of excitonic superfluidity. Surprisingly, the system in question is a double layer two dimensional electron gas. With no valence band holes in sight, where do the excitons come from?
Host: Coppersmith
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