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The combination of general relativity and quantum theory led Jacob Bekenstein and Stephen Hawking to the startling result that black hole horizons obey thermodynamics and possess an entropy and a temperature. A reasonable interpretation of the black hole entropy is that it is associated with quantum degrees of freedom at the very small Planck length scale. Thus far, this interpretation has only been verified using models that derive from string theory.
Fig. 1: ‘Fibre-optic’ modes and spatially resolved current imaging in a graphene Josephson junction*. [Reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: Nature Physics ©2015]
Exploiting the light-like properties of carriers in graphene could allow extreme non-classical forms of electronic transport to be realized. In this vein, finding ways to confine and direct electronic waves through nanoscale streams and streamlets, unimpeded by the presence of other carriers, has remained a grand challenge.