Electron Hydrodynamics

Schematic of the emergence of steady-state vortices in anisotropic hydrodynamic flow
Difference in steady-state streamplot between isotropic and square-symmetry viscosity tensors in a corbino disk geometry, highlighting the emergence of steady-state vortices

In most conductors at room-temperature, electron collisions are akin to billiard balls, resulting in the macroscopic observation of diffusive flow (Ohm’s “law”). Recently, spatially-resolved transport measurements have revealed electrons in strongly-interacting materials can behave akin to classical fluids, confirming theoretical predictions over fifty years old.

I study these “hydrodynamic” electron flows across various length scales, from their microscopic origins, to their macroscopic observables. I was recently part of a team which imaged these flows in a 3D conductor for the first time, corroborating a newly-proposed electron interaction mechanism by us mediated by lattice vibrations.