Lancaster: American Institute of Physics, 1958. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE IN ORIGINAL WRAPS OF THE LANDMARK, NOBEL PRIZE WINNING DISCOVERY OF QUANTUM TUNNELING IN SEMICONDUCTORS, a discovery that opened the way to the invention of the Esaki (or tunnel) diode, the FIRST quantum electron device.
Esaki’s work provided the first physical evidence that the phenomenon of tunneling, a key postulate of quantum mechanics, was more than an intriguing theory. “Esaki discovered that electric current could be made to cross those junctions. When he applied a voltage to a semiconductor junction, electrons in the current jumped over the junction, resulting in a quantum mechanical "tunneling" effect. He was surprised to learn that the electrons' resistance to the barrier decreased with the intensity of the voltage, the opposite of what was expected. This tunnel diode allowed electrons to pass through junctions that were only a hundred atoms thick. Tunneling was possible using wave equations of quantum mechanics, rather than approaching the phenomenon using classical theories of physics, in which electrons are thought of as particles” (Encyclopedia of World Biography).
One of the most fundamental tenets of quantum mechanics, the foundation of modern physics, is that the exchange of energy at the subatomic level is constrained to certain levels, or quantities--in a word, quantized. Esaki’s paper was essential in explaining that exchange of energy. “Esaki diodes actually provide a beautiful illustration of the interplay of two quantum effects, viz. energy bands in solids and tunneling. Charge carriers can tunnel from one energy band into a different energy band in heavily doped pn junctions” (Dick, Advanced Quantum Mechanics, 40). His paper answered questions “about electron tunneling through solids that scientists had been asking for decades, and opening a new field in development of solid-state physics that spread to research laboratories around the world” (Encyclopedia of World Biography). Item #911
CONDITION & DETAILS: Lancaster: American Physical Society. Volume 109, Number 2. Original Wraps 4to (10.5 x 8 inches; 263 x 200mm). Original paper wraps in near fine condition in every way.