The study of the conductance of electrons belongs to the very heart of condensed-matter physics. The classical Drude theory of electronic conductivity was built on the idea of free electrons scattered by positive ions in metal lattice sites. A key concept in that description was the mean free path, the average length an electron travels before it collides with an ion. According to classical theory, the electronic conductivity should be directly proportional to the mean free path, which experiment had established as large in metals—around 100 nm, some two orders of magnitude larger than the lattice constant.