The modern smartphone is enabled by a billion-plus nanotransistors, each having an active region that is barely a few hundred atoms long. Interestingly the same amazing technology has also led to a deeper understanding of the nature of current flow on an atomic scale and my aim is to make these lessons from nanoelectronics accessible to anyone in any branch of science or engineering. I will assume very little background beyond linear algebra and differential equations, although we will be discussing advanced concepts in non-equilibrium statistical mechanics that should be of interest even to specialists.
In the first half, Part A, of this course (4 weeks) we introduce a new perspective connecting the quantized conductance of short ballistic conductors to the familiar Ohm's law of long diffusive conductors, along with a brief description of the modern nanotransistor. In the second half, Part B, (4 weeks) we will address fundamental conceptual issues related to the meaning of resistance on an atomic scale, the interconversion of electricity and heat, the second law of thermodynamics and the fuel value of information.