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Union College majoring in chemistry, 1918; attended special lectures at General Electric by Irving Langmuir, Saul Dushman and Albert W. Hull; joined Western Electric Company in engineering department after graduation. First work on microphone carbon. To Princeton University on Homer Lowry's advice, studying dielectrics with Harry Smythe. During Bell Laboratories expansion in 1930, rejoined old group, now working on dielectrics; became department head, 1931; Addison White.
Early influences and education; A.B. from Willamette University in physics and math, 1926; fellowship and M.A. from Stanford University; graduate study at Columbia University on x-rays. Work at Bell Laboratories, starting 1929, on vacuum tube amplifiers with John B. Johnson; carbon microphones, semiconductors and the solar battery; work atmosphere and supervisors, Peter J. W. Debye; technical colloquia. History of “thermistors” and transistors. First color TV demonstration. Work during World War II on bombing using radar techniques and infrared.
Topics discussed include: Raymond Sears' family background; early interests in science; his work at Bell Telephone Laboratories; surface physics; Walter Brattain; solid state physics; Clinton Davisson; J. R. Pierce; Art Ahearn; vacuum tube research; John B. Johnson; Richard O. Grisdale; Kelly College; Foster Nix; Dean Wooldridge; Alan Holden; John Glenn; American Institute of Physics.
Deals mainly with his career at General Electric Company in Schenectady, NY. Early interest in science leads to first (summer) job at age 15, with Irving Langmuir at G.E.; comments on Langmuir's work. Undergraduate studies at Cornell University interupted by military service, 1918; switches from chemistry to physics at Cornell in 1919. Returns to G.E. in 1921; collaborations with Langmuir on, among other work, mercury arc rectifiers (plasma), space charge equations (leading to a Langmuir patent for the thyratron) hydrogen-welding (R. W. Wood).