Solid-state physics at the ballistic-to-hydrodynamic crossover. 2) Open problems
Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 2:00pm - 3:00pm
I will describe what I think are the most important questions in electron fluid dynamics which are best addressed by (large scale?) numerical physics over the next few years. First, I will discuss the theory of thermoelectric transport across the ballistic-to-hydrodynamic crossover, and demonstrate that it is very sensitive to both the nature of disorder and effective conservation laws. Numerical methods could give quantitative, material-specific predictions for transport experiments, building on some of these recent theoretical developments. Secondly, I will argue that a key problem of interest for computational scientists involves the nonlinear dynamics of electrons beyond the Navier-Stokes regime, where 'ballistic' corrections to the hydrodynamic equations cannot be neglected. Large scale simulations of the onset (and failure?) of turbulence, along with other hydrodynamic instabilities, will give a more complete picture of the emergence of fluid dynamics in experimental systems and allow us to address the feasibility of proposals for some 'practical' applications of electron fluids.