The Watering Hole: December 24 – Semi Conductors

The semiconductor region of the periodic table

The mystery of semiconductors seems a bit difficult to understand, but it can be buttressed to a simple concept. Elements with a full outer band will exchange electrons on the basis of resistance governed by the acreage offered by each bond to the external world. This is the basis for the point contact transistor by Walter Brattain and John Bardeen. Shockley took this concept forward by doping semiconductors with help from his lab people.

All of the elements in the yellow column, above, are in electron balance that is they can be pushed in either way without resistance. That electron will travel in the direction of least resistance.

The elements in the orange and green columns when bonded in a sandwich will have a spare electron in the green column and those in the orange column will lack one. They present ‘Troll Crossing” where an electron traveling from the green column will have an easy task in moving while an electron in the orange column will be repelled by the extra electrons in the green column. When this is done by diffusing elements in columns orange and green into adjacent areas of a semiconductor (Silicon, Germanium or Arsenic) surface, regions with excess electrons and those with a surfeit will pass electrons from the excess to those lacking. The unification process produced is called doping. Semiconductors can be doped from both the yellow and blue columns, but the amplification factor is less dramatic.

That’s it for tonight. I can carry on in comments or a future thread,

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.


109 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: December 24 – Semi Conductors

  1. I once tried to explain to to a person why we use copper for wiring rather than aluminum or other elements.
    (I refuse to use aluminum wiring on anything)
    The next question was: Then why don’t they just use water in a pipe instead, that conducts electricity. I thought he was kidding, he wasn’t.
    If it were a child, I could understand but, this was another electrician on the job with us.
    My partner and I put him out on the low-voltage driveway lighting until we got a replacement.

  2. Gingrich, Perry ‘fail to qualify’ for Virginia poll

    US Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry have failed to qualify for the party’s Virginia primary election, local media reported early Saturday.

    NBC News reported that the Virginian branch of the Republican Party made the decision because the former speaker of the House of Representatives and the Texas governor fell short of the 10,000 signatures of registered voters required for a candidate’s name to be placed on the primary ballot.

    MSNBC is showing a poll that has Gingrich leading in Virginia, and yet he can’t get enough signatures? That’s Republican incompetence on a statewide scale!

    • Just imagine what might happen this primary season. Various candidates not making the cut so we have no real clear leader come convention time. It will be a wonderful bit of nostalgia to see the circus come to Tampa again, replete with clowns and elephants! Now that would be high entertainment.

      • And the regular Republicans will be fighting with the teabagger. And protesters will be outside. It’s better than the World Cup.

      • I still think if no one goes into the Republican Convention with a clear victory, Sarah Palin shows up to “save the day” as a dark horse candidate.

    • And now his team is blaming the State of Virginia for incompetence. I suppose that’s to be expected because otherwise someone might notice that the team was responsible for gathering the necessary signatures. Awesome FAIL.

  3. Zoo Sr and I are getting ready to go see “Tintin,” and then I’ll catch him up on some Doctor Who while he’s baking cookies. Mmmm…

    • Matt Damon in “We Bought A Zoo” sounds like fun too. Both got a must see rating from Alex Witt and her film critic, Alicia Quarles. If I thought I could handle the crowd, I’d try to see that one.

      • Matt Damon was complaining that President Obama didn’t have any balls. Easy to be a tough guy on a movie set. Stupid to Obama him while you’re trying to market a movie, Matt. I thought he was smart.

    • Small Turtles and I went ot se Tin Tin yesterday….. we thought it was fun…. in 3D IMAX too.

    • I love Tintin and own almost all of the books. The clips I’ve seen from the movie look excellent, and with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg as Thomson and Thompson, how can it go wrong?

      I’m also going to catch the new Sherlock Holmes sometime in the next week.

      • Tin Tin was a really fun movie.

        Zoo Sr started reading the Tin Tin books when he was in Jr High, so naturally we had to go see it.

        We saw it in normal vision. 🙂

  4. This War on Christmas thing is getting entirely out of hand. Last night I stopped at the liquor store for the whiskey and rum for eggnog and I was assaulted by one of the clerks, waving a clump of broccoli. I was so shocked that it required artificial respiration to restore my equilibrium.

  5. Former Rep. Tom Davis (R) Virginia on Alex Witt:
    ‘Both major parties have really failed the American voters when you take a look at the last twelve years, you’ve had 9-11, you’ve had two failed wars, you’ve had an economic meltdown, stagnant wages, Katrina. As they look at the political establishment in both parties at this point, they see it’s a failure to deliver, and it has driven voters in droves into the independent column, and it creates a very volatile electorate, where they rejected the Republicans in 2006 and 2008. In 2010 they rejected the Democrats. I don’t think they’re happy with their choices at this point, and I think it creates a lot of volatility.’

    Funny how it’s both parties to blame, but all the reasons he cited are Republican failures!

  6. What was Nike thinking bringing out this new Air Jordan shoe two days before Christmas? That was guaranteed to cause riots!

      • They say a lot of people just want to get them to put them on E-Bay. If you could net a couple hundred bucks, in this economy, I can see where desperate people might behave like that.

        • I heard they were putting the shoes on ebay for $500.

          Destroying stores, pepper spray, gun shots? No, I really can’t see that kind of behavior around something as ridiculous as shoes.

    • Nike knew exactly what it was doing: Short supply – high demand.
      Oh, and they are feigning the outcome was never expected/intended.

      • Nike has a lot of violent baggage tied to it’s shoes.
        Some years ago people were being murdered for the same style they have now trotted out as retro.
        And lets not forget the third world sweatshops…

  7. I think we should concede the War on Christmas as soon as Christians concede that His birthday is likely in the Spring. Once they move Christmas to the proper time of year, we can go back to celebrating Yule as our ancestors did – with drunken parties…

  8. Santa’s mission tonight: There are just over 526,000,000 Christian kids under the age of 14 in the world who celebrate Christmas on December 25th. In other words, Santa has to deliver presents to almost 22 million kids an hour, every hour, on the night before Christmas. That’s about 365,000 kids a minute; about 6,100 a second. Totally doable.

    • Santa never loses his cool. My grandchildren will be looking for reindeer footprints tomorrow morning. The nice thing is, they will find deer prints and deer droppings on the property.

  9. This day in history:

    24 December 1992

    Bush Pardons 6 in Iran Affair, Aborting a Weinberger Trial; Prosecutor Assails ‘Cover-Up’

    Bush Diary At Issue
    6-Year Inquiry Into Deal of Arms for Hostages All but Swept Away

  10. More Gingrich FAIL: Newt announced in response to FAIL #1 that they would pursue an “aggressive write-in campaign”. Unfortunately for Newtered, write-in votes are illegal in a primary election. MASSIVE FAIL!

  11. Does anyone know the recipe for the ubiquitous holiday buffet item that is either meatballs or lil smokies in I think grape jelly?

    • Grape jelly?
      Oh, you must be referring to the meatballs that fall into the little Sterno burner underneath.

    • I just talked to my sister and she had the recipe. I suspect it is something of a Midwest, possibly even a Wi dish. It is on and a web search for grape jelly meatballs brings up lots of hits. Basically it is grape jelly, chili sauce, either meatballs or little smokies, crock pot. I don’t care for them but the wee’uns like them.

  12. I must leave the computer and get ready for the events of the evening. With that I would like to say: Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, Happy Kwanza, Happy Festivus etc… whatever you celebrate or don’t celebrate, may you enjoy time with those that you love. This is a great time of the year. So many holidays to celebrate. We should enjoy them all. Love and peace… ~ Cats.

  13. I’ve never seen a team work any harder to score than the Jets did just now. What a convoluted drive!

  14. Even people I really like and respect can have a giant blind spot for Ron Paul. A young woman I work with, very smart and funny, keeps posting Ron Paul garbage on her FB page. At one point I sent her a link to the “10 reasons not to vote for Ron Paul” page, but I got no response. I would have described her as a feminist, definitely not a racist, and yet… If I was to ask her about him, I’m sure she’d go on at length about how he hates war.

  15. I spent the day with the two year old granddaughter, who is a devil in a red dress, and red glitter shoes. Merry whatever makes you happy folks, son and I plan to spend the evening eating buttered popcorn and watching Jingle All the Way by the fireplace. That movie makes us both laugh hysterically.
    Love from VA

    • Remember, before you go off with a grin:
      While those two may be out, all the others are in.

      From the Think Progress article:

      The Republican Party of Virginia announced late last night that only former Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) qualified to be listed.

      The poet may have missed that one.

    • Holy crap!

      The guy going off about the 2nd amendment, despite reading the constitution every night, missed the part about a “well regulated militia”. I have a feeling that no militia would allow unbalanced freaks like that guy.

      I guess that the guy with the evolution rant has never heard of a lungfish or a mudskipper. Both can survive long periods out of the water and, given a few million years, either or both could give rise to a new line of terrestrial animals. And that doesn’t even begin to account for all of the sea creatures found in the middle of today’s continents. If anything is obvious it would be the simple fact that most dry land has spent a portion of the earth’s history as the bottom of an ocean. Few scientific facts do more to belie the claims that earth was created as anything that even resembles what we see today.

  16. I learned a couple of things today. One is packaged bacon is weird. For some reason it is sliced paper thin. Maybe to convince people if you can see through it, it can’t be bad for you. The other is shrimp marinated in rum and pemnic, wrapped in aforesaid paper thin bacon and lightly broiled is rather tasty.

  17. NORAD Santa Trackers Having Record Holiday

    Santa’s piling up more than presents this year. The big man’s trackers at NORAD say Santa Claus also broke records this Christmas Eve.

    Volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado were fielding 8,000 calls an hour Saturday afternoon, on pace to break a record. Also, Santa’s NORAD Facebook page approached 920,000 “likes” by midafternoon. Last year, Santa had 716,000 “likes.”

    Nice to know all that defense money does something useful, entertaining kids. 😀

  18. Happy Holidays, everyone. I just decided to take a few minutes between my afternoon buzz and my late night drunk.

    Liberty Lover. If you haven’t cooked your duck yet? it looks like you got all the right advice. the only thing that I would add is that one mustn’t neglect the skin. Roasted to a golden brown, with a currant or orange, or cranberry glaze is my favorite.

    G’night, good people.

  19. Just popping in to Wish everyone a Happy Holiday of their Choosing and/or Blessings from the god of your choice!

  20. To all Zoosters and Critters, Holiday wishes of good food and drink, good friends and laughter. May your weekend be a time of friendship, bonhomie and all you desire.

  21. Wishing all of you Zoosters and Critters a very lovely holiday, warm in the heart of your family…or family of choice. 🙂

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