Informal seminar on Disorder and strong electron correlations: "Can a fractional charge tunnel through an insulator?"
ICTP (Main Building Room 239)
(The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot)
It is widely believed that the answer to the question in the title is in the negative. The exclusion of such a process - tunneling of a fractionally charged quasi-particle through a potential barrier (an insulator) goes back to a "global constraint": the number of charge carriers on either side of the barrier must be (nearly) an integer. We address the issue of a QP tunneling in connection with geometries where this constraint does not apply, point out to the feasibility of such tunneling and evaluate its amplitude.
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