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/ Forums / Semiconductor Physics, Part 2
 

  a few of my own concerns 
 
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Anti Kid May 12, 2003, 02:44am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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I am a student in electronics engineering, and saw this article and thought i would give it a read and see whats up. I think that you know your stuff but in some places make things more confusing then they actually are. I'm not trying to be a d#@k about anything so don't take it that way.
When your describing electron flow vs. conventional flow I think you went down the wrong path with your description. It's pretty simple and I think what made it confusing for me was the fact that you didn't use negative/positive in the description. I see that you used:
"Thus, if current was moving from left to right, for example, that meant that positive particles were moving from left to right"
And i know that you are talking about the past here, so thats not my problem. When it would have been simpler to understand had you came out and said that current (electron flow, actual current) goes from a negative potential to a more positive potential. And hole flow (conventional current) goes from a positive potential to a negative potential. Then went into the description of why this is with electrons and holes.

This is the quote that bothered me the most:
"So when you see a schematic showing current flowing in a certain direction, know that, in actuality, electrons are moving in the opposite direction."
That just isn't true, depending on what type of education you have, as in, whether the school taught electron flow, or conventional flow, that is a very misleading bit of info. If you're looking at a schematic written with conventional flow in mind, then yes, the arrows would be reversed, but if it were electron flow, that would be wrong. And the only way to tell is to know actual electron flow and how voltages are dropped across resistors and the like. So what I'm trying to say is that is misleading.


About this quote, I won't get into any questions about electron and hole flow because i think you cleared yourself with the other post, but this is also a misleading quote:
"Heat is one example; if the sample is heated, thermal energy will excite some electrons up into the Conduction Band. This is called Thermal Excitation or Thermal Generation."
When in fact, heat is ALWAYS there, so thermal generation is always involved, unless you can get the silicon to Absolute 0 Kelvin, which last time i heard was not possible. Now correct me if I'm wrong on that point but when I watched Bill Nye The Science Guy in the 6th grade, there was a show about Absolute 0 and how it is not possible.

Well, hopefully you read this and understand where I am coming from, i like the article and this is the first time I've been to the site, even after all 3 have been posted. I got the link from Anandtech.com and like the site,
keep up the good work.
Chris


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Marcus Whitlock Mar 18, 2005, 01:12pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: a few of my own concerns
>I am a student in electronics engineering, and saw this article and thought i would give it a read and see whats >up. I think that you know your stuff but in some places make things more confusing then they actually are. I'm >not trying to be a d#@k about anything so don't take it that way.
>When your describing electron flow vs. conventional flow I think you went down the wrong path with your >description. It's pretty simple and I think what made it confusing for me was the fact that you didn't use >negative/positive in the description. I see that you used:
>"Thus, if current was moving from left to right, for example, that meant that positive particles were moving from >left to right"
>And i know that you are talking about the past here, so thats not my problem. When it would have been >simpler to understand had you came out and said that current (electron flow, actual current) goes from a >negative potential to a more positive potential. And hole flow (conventional current) goes from a positive >potential to a negative potential. Then went into the description of why this is with electrons and holes.

Why? Why introduce more terminolgy that may confuse people some readers. The notion of potential though relevent of course in this area of physics, does not need to be bought into this discussion at all. I think Dan's explaination hits the sweet spot in terms of presenting what is needed for a newcomer to understand the subject matter being discussed.


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