Rolf Landauer
IBM Research Center


"For his invention of the scattering theory approach to the analysis and modeling of electronic transport."


Landauer received his Ph D in physics from Harvard University in 1950 and spent two years at NASA's Lewis Laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio before joining the research staff of IBM. During his tenure there, he has held a variety of research and managerial position, including director of solid state sciences, director of physical sciences and assistant director of research. Since 1969 he has been an IBM fellow.

Landauer pioneered a new view of transport theory which has become fundamental to modern understanding of quantum coherent transport in metals and semiconductors. In the conventional view, electron transport fields are regarded as causes and current flow as the response. The Landauer approach regards the flow of carriers as the causative disturbance which defined the current flow, which allows a fully quantum mechanical procedure for calculation of the conductance from the transmissive behavior of the sample. In addition to the development of the scaling theory of localization. Landauer's approach has been used extensively in many areas of mesoscopic systems.