Thursday, May 13, 2010

Royal Obstetricians

From a new review article on the anomalous Hall effect:
The first discovery provided a simple elegant tool to measure carrier concentration in nonmagnetic conductors and played a midwife’s role in easing the birth of semiconductor physics and solid-state electronics in the late 1940s. For this role, the Hall effect was frequently called the queen of solid-state transport experiments.
The associative bridge here seems to have been that both midwives and queens are female. On the other hand there's something pleasantly grotesque about the logic here: you must be the queen, you're covered in someone else's bodily fluids.

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