The Quantum Hall Effect
Science has evolved over the ages, and the discoveries made in the field of physics have often eluded us for years before finally being understood. One such example of this is the Quantum Hall Effect, a new phenomenon in physics that has added to the understanding of material behavior and its implications for science. In this article, we will be discussing the discovery and history of the Quantum Hall Effect, the scientific principles behind it, and some of the implications and applications that have been created due to this novel effect.
History of the Quantum Hall Effect
The discovery of quantum Hall Effect was made by the German physicist Klaus von Klitzing in 1980, where he was attempting to measure the conducitivity in samples of gallium arsenide. The Hall Effect states that there is an electric field created at a current-carrying material’s edge (along the length of the current) and that this field can be measured and has a specific value ie. the Hall resistance. Upon measuring the Hall resistance, Klitzing detected that the values he was getting were unexpected and precisely quantized in nature. This discovery of the quantized Hall effect was that which became known as the Quantum Hall Effect.
Principles of the Quantum Hall Effect
The Quantum Hall Effect occurs when current is passed through a two-dimensional electron system. When a magnetic field is also applied at an inclination, the electrons move in a circular pattern thus reducing the resistance of the sample. This reduction in resistance sustains itself until a precise magnetic field is reached when the electron spins align with the B-field, leading to zero resistance and thus the provision of the precise values that Klitzing measured. This zero resistance is called the quantum Hall plateau and it is this lack of resistance due to electron alignment that is known as the Quantum Hall Effect.
Implications & Applications of the Quantum Hall Effect
Due to the discovery of the Quantum Hall Effect, new possibilities and applications were opened for electronics and industry. The most prominent development of this discovery was the invention of the Hall Effect sensor. This is a device that works according to the principles of the Hall Effect and uses the concept of zero resistance in order to detect magnetic fields, allowing it to be used in a variety of ways such as in the automotive industry. An example of these uses include the gear shift of automatic transmissions, as the Hall Effect sensor detects the exact moment when the right gear is required in order to shift the gears. The Hall Effect sensor is also used in robotics and numerous other industries, allowing it to be a useful tool due to its direct correlation with the Quantum Hall Effect.
Other applications of the Quantum Hall Effect have included its use as a substitute for high-precision resistance measuring. This is used in order to attain a more precise reading of electrical resistance in comparison to any other method. It has also been used in the development of the two-dimensional electron gas systems, which involve subdermal conductivity of electrons in a two-dimensional state and its connection to the magneto-resistance ratio in such systems. All in all, the Quantum Hall Effect has given us an additional understanding of physics and its implications on material behavior, that which is being used in numerous applications and purposes in the industry.
The Quantum Hall Effect is one of the most interesting discoveries in the study of physics, as its implications and applications have a profound effect for various industries and research development. This effect is caused due to exotic properties of electron waves and their linked properties to magnetic fields, leading to its potential applications in sensors, in the measurement of high-precision resistance and other means. As research and development into quantum-based devices increase, the Quantum Hall Effect and its related technology will become increasingly important, allowing us to gain an even greater understanding of the field of physics and the physics’ related implications to material behavior.