The effect of quantum tunneling on electronic devices


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On Friday, January 31, ESU physics, mathematics and computer science graduate, Milen Rashkov, will give a presentation called “The Effect of Quantum Tunneling on Electronic Devices.”

“The talk is generally about quantum mechanics,” he said, “but I chose the specific topic of quantum tunneling to present on, which is basically the chance, the probability that a particle can go through another particle, a barrier.”

“This doesn’t typically happen in classical physics. You can’t just throw a ball at a wall and expect it’s going to go through the other side,” continued Rashkov. “In quantum mechanics, there’s a distinct chance that it could happen, depending on the thickness of the wall, the potential, etcetera, etcetera.”

Rashkov’s presentation will focus on real world applications and drawbacks of quantum tunneling, particularly on data transmission.

“Quantum tunneling makes flash memory cards possible,” said Rashkov. “Without it, it would take a lot longer to upload and download things onto a flash drive. It (the device) would have to be a lot bulkier, like in the late nineties.”

“Mostly I’m planning on talking about how quantum tunneling affects data transmission and data loss in transistors and semiconductors, and things like that, because when electrons travel through, they end up losing a lot of the data they carry,” said Rashkov.

Although most of the presentation will require knowledge on quantum mechanics, Rashkov plans to bridge the gap to some extent.

“There’s no general prerequisite for going to a science talk, especially one like this where it’s ridiculously informal,” he said. “Some of the presentation will maybe be inaccessible to people who have not studied quantum mechanics, but I will try to make it as accessible as possible.”

“If you just want to learn something, come, because you’re definitely going to get something out of it,” urged Rashkov.

The presentation begins at 4:00 PM in Gessner 117.

“If you have an open mind, and if you have an interest in science in general, then you’re more than welcome to come,” said Rashkov. “You just show up, be open minded, and be curious.”

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