Properties of electrons in one-dimensional systems, such as quantum wires, differ radically from their two- and three-dimensional analogs. The effects of reduced dimensionality are quite dramatic—in particular, they can lead to the electron’s spin and charge degrees of freedom behaving as separate entities. Such one-dimensional collections of fermions are commonly described by the so-called Luttinger liquid formalism that replaces the familiar Landau Fermi-liquid phenomenology.
Writing in Physical Review B, Dmitri Gutman, Yuval Gefen, and Alexander Mirlin—in a collaboration between Bar-Ilan University and the Weizmann Institute of Science, both in Israel, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany—generalize a very successful technique for one-dimensional systems at equilibrium, to account for nonequilibrium conditions. Applying the new technique, they calculate experimentally relevant quantities for electron transport in a variety of low-dimensional systems such as carbon nanotubes, superconducting, metallic, and polymer nanowires, as well as transport along the edges of quantum Hall fluids. – Alex Klironomos