Herbert Kroemer

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Herbert Kroemer (born August 25, 1928) is professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2000, along with Zhores I. Alferov, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics "for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed- and opto-electronics".

Sourced[edit]

  • Whenever I came to him (Fritz Sauter) with a pure physics idea, he would invariably say, with slight sarcasm: "But Mr. Kroemer, you ought to be able to formulate this mathematically! " If I came to him with a math formulation, I would get, in a similar tone: "But Mr. Kroemer, that is just math, what is the physics?" After a few encounters of this kind, you got the idea: You had to be able to go back and forth with ease. Yet, in the last analysis, concepts took priority over formalism, the latter was simply an (indispensable) means to an end.
    • in his Autobiography, Herbert Kroemer, The Nobel Prize in Physics 2000
  • The principal applications of any sufficiently new and innovative technology always have been—and will continue to be—applications created by that technology.
    • in his Nobel Lecture, Quasi-Electric Fields and Band Offsets: Teaching Electrons New Tricks, 8 December 2000, at Aula Magna, Stockholm University.
  • Ultimately, progress in applications is not deterministic, but opportunistic, exploiting for new applications whatever new science and technology happen to be coming along.
    • in his Nobel Lecture, Quasi-Electric Fields and Band Offsets: Teaching Electrons New Tricks, 8 December 2000, at Aula Magna, Stockholm University.
  • Whenever I teach my semiconductor device physics course, one of the central messages I try to get across early is the importance of energy band diagrams. I often put this in the form of "Kroemer's Lemma of Proven Igorance":
    If, in discussing a semiconductor problem, you cannot draw an Energy Band Diagram, this shows that you don't know what you are talking about,
    with the corollary
    If you can draw one, but don't, then your audience won't know what you are talking about.
    • in his Nobel Lecture, Quasi-Electric Fields and Band Offsets: Teaching Electrons New Tricks, 8 December 2000, at Aula Magna, Stockholm University.

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