World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Robert N. Hall

Robert N. Hall
Born (1919-12-25) December 25, 1919
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.


Robert N. Hall was born on December 25, 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 mom's approval, which resulted in an eight inch telescope and a close-up 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 tester, 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.[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.


  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.  
2 ^ "Robert N. Hall", , became accessible 2014, "JoelDanielValdez" the original writer of the biography/document.

Further reading

  • Hall, Robert N., "Early transistor history at GE", 2000, accessed March 6, 2006.
  • Invent Now Hall of Fame, "Robert N. Hall", accessed March 6, 2006.
  • Lemelson-MIT Program, "R. N. Hall", accessed March 6, 2006.
  • Hall, Robert N., "Laser 50th Anniversary: Robert N. Hall recalls the diode laser", 2010,
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.