Determination of the elementary charge and the quantum metrological triangle experiment
Laboratoire National de Métrologie et d'Essais (LNE), 29 Av. Roger Hennequin, 78197 Trappes, France
The elementary charge e is of fundamental importance in physics. The determination of its value, which is closely linked to progress of the measurement techniques, started in the beginning of the twentieth century and is still on-going. Today, in the frame of the CODATA adjustment, the evaluation of the fundamental constant, e, is derived from a complex calculation and is no more related to a single experiment. But the development of single electron tunneling (SET) devices, started in the early 90s, has opened the path towards modern metrological systems as quantum current sources. Thus a new direct determination of e is possible by implementing an electron pump and the set-up of the quantum metrological triangle (QMT) in combination with the experiments linking mechanical and electrical units. Furthermore, we show how the QMT experiment can contribute to the establishment of a new system of units based on fundamental constants of physics.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2009