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Edwin Hall

Edwin Herbert Hall (November 7, 1855 - November 20, 1938) was an American physicist who discovered the "Hall effect". Hall conducted thermoelectric research at Harvard and where he also wrote numerous physics textbooks and laboratory manuals.


Hall was born in Great Falls (North Gorham ), Maine, US. Hall received his education at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

The Hall effect was discovered by Dr. Hall in 1879, while working on his doctoral thesis (Physics). Hall experiments consisted of exposing thin gold leaf (and, later, using various other materials) on a glass plate and tapping off the gold leaf at points down its length. The effect is a potential difference (Hall voltage) on opposite sides of a thin sheet of conducting or semiconducting material (the Hall element) through which an electric current is flowing. This was created by a magnetic field applied perpendicular to the Hall element. The ratio of the voltage created to the amount of current is known as the Hall resistance, and is a characteristic of the material in the element. In the presence of large magnetic field strength and low temperature, one can observe the quantum Hall effect, which is the quantization of the Hall resistance. In 1880, Hall's experimentation was published as a doctoral thesis in the American Journal of Science and in the Philosophical Magazine .

Hall was appointed as Harvard's professor of physics in 1895. Hall retired in 1921. Hall died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US.

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