Robert N. Hall
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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.
Robert N. Hall was born in December 25th, 1919 in New Haven, Connecticut. American born was first inspired by his careered inventor uncle, who showed him the wonders of small inventions and experimentation. After long studies at his local library, high school hall decided to attempt controlled experiments of his own, and with his moms approval, which resulted in an eight inch telescope and a closeup view of saturn. Later on, an interviewer from California Tech visited him, ran tests, and offered him a scholarship to attend. Hall studied at California Institute of Technology, his in-depth studies were stopped short at three years, until he can regain a financial structure. After working at Lockheed Aircraft as a testor, he returned to finish up his studies and obtain his physics degree. Then GE hired him as a test engineer at Schenectady. After four years at GE, by the advice of Harper North and Dr. Hull, he reached for the Research Council Fellowship and returned to Cal. Tech. Hall graduated in 1948 with his Ph.D., and returned to G.E. Schenectady research labs, in that summer.
Studying the characteristics of p-i-n diodes used as power rectifiers, he 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. 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, Robert N., "Early transistor history at GE", 2000, http://www.semiconductormuseum.com/Transistors/GE/OralHistories/Hall/Hall_Index.htm, accessed March 6, 2006.
- Invent Now Hall of Fame, "Robert N. Hall", http://www.invent.org/hall_of_fame/73.html, accessed March 6, 2006.
- Lemelson-MIT Program, "R. N. Hall", http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/hall3.html, accessed March 6, 2006.
- Hall, Robert N., "Laser 50th Anniversary: Robert N. Hall recalls the diode laser", 2010, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B1P9ERCaxg