Kelvin-Mach Wake in a Two-Dimensional Fermi Sea

Eugene B. Kolomeisky, Joseph P. Straley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The dispersion law for plasma oscillations in a two-dimensional electron gas in the hydrodynamic approximation interpolates between Ωq and Ωq dependences as the wave vector q increases. As a result, downstream of a charged impurity in the presence of a uniform supersonic electric current flow, a wake pattern of induced charge density and potential is formed whose geometry is controlled by the Mach number M. For 1<M≤2, the wake consists of transverse wave fronts confined within a sector, whose angle is given by the classic Mach condition. An additional wake of a larger angle resembling the Kelvin ship wake, and consisting of both transverse and diverging wave fronts, is found outside the Mach sector for M>2. These wakes also trail an external charge, traveling supersonically, a fixed distance away from the electron gas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number226801
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number22
StatePublished - May 31 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Physical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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