Robert N. Hall

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Robert N. Hall
Born (1919-12-25) December 25, 1919 (age 95)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Fields engineering, applied physics
Institutions General Electric
Alma mater California Institute of Technology
Known for demonstrated the first semiconductor laser, invented a magnetron
Notable awards Marconi Prize (1989)
National Inventors Hall of Fame (1994)

Robert N. Hall (born December 25, 1919) is an American engineer and applied physicist. He demonstrated the first semiconductor laser, and invented a type of magnetron commonly used in microwave ovens. He also contributed to the development of rectifiers for power transmission.

Biography[edit]

Robert N. Hall was born on December 25, 1919 in New Haven, Connecticut. He was first inspired by his inventor uncle, who showed him the wonders of small inventions and experimentation. After long studies at his local library, Hall decided to attempt controlled experiments of his own with his mother's approval. He built an eight-inch telescope which produced a close-up view of Saturn. Later on, an interviewer from California Tech visited him and offered a scholarship to attend the university. Hall studied at California Institute of Technology for three years but had to leave for financial reasons. After working at Lockheed Aircraft as a tester, he returned to Cal. Tech. to finish up his studies and obtain his physics degree. Then General Electric hired him as a test engineer at Schenectady, NY. After four years at G.E., under the advice of Harper North, Hull obtained a Research Council Fellowship and returned to Cal. Tech. He graduated in 1948 with his Ph.D. and returned to G.E. Schenectady research labs that summer.

While studying the characteristics of p-i-n diodes used as power rectifiers, Hall had a key insight which resulted in his being co-credited with William Shockley and W. T. Read, Jr., for the analysis of nonradiative carrier recombination in semiconductors. Hall developed the semiconductor laser in 1962, while working at General Electric in Schenectady, New York.[1] In the 1970s, Hall's work focused on photovoltaics and solar cells. He retired in 1987 having been granted 43 U.S. patents during his career.

Hall was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1977, and to the National Academy of Sciences in 1978. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hall, Robert N.; G. E. Fenner; J. D. Kingsley; T. J. Soltys; R. O. Carlson (November 1962). "Coherent Light Emission From GaAs Junctions". Physical Review Letters 9 (9): 366–369. Bibcode:1962PhRvL...9..366H. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.9.366. 

2 ^ "Robert N. Hall", http://j449.wordpress.com/new-work/biographies/biography-of-dr-robert-n-hall/ , became accessible 2014, "JoelDanielValdez" the original writer of the biography/document.

Further reading[edit]