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Recollection of the work done on semiconductors at Purdue University after World War II. Major topics include Fan's education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his recollections of the Purdue physics department in the 1940s, and work on semiconductors at Purdue in the 1940s. Also prominently mentioned are: Ralph Bray, Karl Lark-Horovitz, A. H. Wilson; Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory.
Born in Oregon 1912, entered Purdue University, 1932, studying solid state physics, teaching assistant work with Lothar Nordheim on crystal structure, 1937; Ph.D. thesis, 1937 (published 1940); physics department under Karl Lark-Horovitz grows in the 1930s, visiting lecturers (refugees from Germany and Europe: Lothar Nordheim, Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, Eugene Wigner). First cyclotron (homemade), 1935. War work: basic research in germanium, rectification of crystals (Bethe), close connections with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania; Lark-Horovitz chose solid state physics as less sensitive field with respect to clearance; showed silicon-germanium intrinsic semiconductors, 1942; General Electric’s germanium interest; success interpreting resistivity and thermoelectric behavior in germanium, 1944. American Physical Society meeting intense interest in Purdue presentations, January 1946; the transistor, 1948 (William Shockley, Ralph Bray); how to grow germanium crystals, 1949; Esther Conwell’s thesis (Victor Weisskopf). Also prominently mentioned are: John Backus, Seymour Benzer, Hubert Maxwell James, A. A. Knowlton, K. W. Meissner, E. P. Miller, Ronald Smith, Herbert J. Yearian; and Purdue University Department of Physics.
In this interview Jerry Woodall discusses topics such as: his family background; undergraduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Morris Cohen; working with semiconductors; Clevite Transistor Products; Al Dulac; crystal growth; Seymour Keller; graduate work at Cornell University; International Business Machines Corporation (IBM); Peter Sorokin; Hans Rupprecht; Zhores Alferov; lasers; Les Eastman; Purdue University; Charles Ahn.