“Pressing Electricity”: A Hundred Years of Hall Effect in Crystalline Metals and Alloys

  • Colin M. Hurd


The quotation in the title comes from Hall’s first paper (Hall 1879) where he proposed that a magnetic field applied to a current-carrying wire would generate “...a state of stress in the conductor, the electricity pressing...toward one side of the wire”. Although Hall was writing some years before the electron was identified, his intuitive view of “pressed” electricity was appropriate. The current in a conductor in a magnetic field is indeed under stress, for the electrons are forced against an inside face of the sample. The resulting concentration gradient of charge is the source of the electrostatic field that Hall and Rowland (see Miller 1976) observed.


Fermi Surface Hall Effect Lorentz Force Open Orbit Itinerant Electron 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin M. Hurd
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of ChemistryNational Research Council of CanadaOttawaCanada

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