Holes and other empty spaces

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Ratch, Dec 7, 2008.

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  1. Ratch

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 20, 2007
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    milly molly mandy,

    What is accepted by "most people" is not necessarily the truth. A consensus of opinion is not proof. Holes are not a concept, they are real. Remember the link I gave you to an authoritative source that said holes have just as much standing as electrons with respect to quantum-mechanical entities? Holes are a semiconductor phenomenon, and have an "effective mass" different from electrons. Holes even live in n-type semiconductors, although their numbers and lifetimes as minority carriers are much less the the majority electrons. Holes have a different mobility than electrons. You will never find a quantum hole in a metal wire because the ocean of electrons in metals will completely swamp a hole before it can ever form.

    Ratch
     
  2. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Don't worry about Ratch, he over complicates everything. Get the base concepts down first, then you can build on them.

    Ratch, new folks don't need swamped with information. They are struggling as it is. I don't know if you ever plan on teaching, but this is something you will have to learn yourself before you can do it well. You start small, then as you have a concept down (even if it has errors, or maybe especially if it does) you refine it later. People think in models and analogy, no one, not even you, absorbed the entirety of physics first try.
     
  3. Ratch

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    Mar 20, 2007
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    Bill_Marsden,

    It should be the OP that should decide if the reply is too involved or complicated, not Bill Marsden. The OP can either ask for clarification or ignore the explanation completely. The only thing you should be concerned about is whether the facts I presented were correct.

    Ratch
     
  4. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Calm down, Ratch. Not everybody needs to understand electronics down to the lowest level to make good use of semiconductors.

    That is the same for a driver, who can competently negotiate traffic but is unaware of the functioning of the devices under the hood. He may not be able to design an engine, but that in no way prevents making use of one

    How many fencers forge their own foils? Or bicyclists convert iron ore into steel and make their frames from it?

    You are trying to force-feed information without regard to the level of interest.
     
  5. Ratch

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 20, 2007
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    beenthere,

    Force-feed? I have no authority to require anyone to read my posts, or assign study materials as a teacher could. As with everything in this forum, one can either read and believe, or ignore and disregard.

    Ratch
     
  6. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    I think some of this discussion is missing the mark and not helpful to the OP. I think Ratch raises a good point to say that the hole should be viewed as a particle. Also, others are correct to say that someone learning should at first focus on simple concepts. However, really both of these ideas are not contradictory.

    The OP need not study quantum electronics, but needs to only understand the concept of the valence and conduction bands and the distribution of electrons and what that means to charge flow in a semiconductor. These concepts are simple and need no mathematics or detailed background. Yes, it is confusing to put it all together, but that's just the nature of it.

    Basically, the term "hole" is just a short hand way of saying "lack of electron". However, when you solve the quantum mechanical equations, this lack of an electron in the valence band behaves similarly as an electron in the conduction band. Simply put, a "hole" is the lack of an electron in the valence band, while an "electron" is an electron in the conduction band. Both the hole and the electron behave similarly. (same charge magnitude but different mobility)

    Ironically, if you think about it, the confusion is not the term "hole" but the term "electron" because an electron in the valence band is not an interesting charge for current flow in a semiconductor. Only electrons that are excited to the conduction band are interesting, so why don't we give them another name like "plug" or something like that (preferably nothing perverted ;) ). To me, the poor choice of name for the excited electron is a major reason why every one of us struggles with this subject at first.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  7. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

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    Neither is the single opinion of Ratch.
     
  8. Ratch

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    Mar 20, 2007
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    thingmaker3,

    When it is backed up by good reference(s), as it was in this case, then it is more than my single opinion. It becomes a point to be taken seriously.

    Ratch
     
  9. thingmaker3

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    The same is more true of the majority view.
     
  10. Ratch

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    Mar 20, 2007
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    thingmaker3,

    Not necessarily so. Remember Galileo?

    Ratch
     
  11. thingmaker3

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    May 16, 2005
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    Of course I don't remember Galileo. He died long and long before I was born. I barely remember John F Kennedy.

    Furthermore, Galileo has nothing whatsoever to do with current flow model versus hole-flow model. He died before either of them were born as well.
     
  12. Ratch

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 20, 2007
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    thingmaker3,

    Ah, but you probably remember reading about Galileo.

    True, but he was a good example of the majority being wrong. His knowledge and experience with respect to astronomy was correct, and the majority including the Pope were not.

    Ratch
     
  13. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    What does this do with helping someone new to electronics? We're getting off base here. My urge to join this fray is strong, but (for now) I'll resist.
     
  14. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
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    Bill makes an excellent point. For this thread, let's stick to diodes as described in the AAC text. If anyone feels this to be restrictive or inadequate, they may open a new thread in the appropriate area.
     
  15. beenthere

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    That might actually be more instructive and less tiresome.
     
  16. Ratch

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 20, 2007
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    thingmaker3,

    I will make a further point. That action should have been done at post #21 of this thread.

    Ratch
     
  17. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
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    I've moved the troublesome posts from http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=16680 here into their own thread. One and one half were copied back into the original thread. Hopefully, this will clear up the original thread while providing access to anything any given member might want access to.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2008
  18. m4yh3m

    Senior Member

    Apr 28, 2004
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    http://science.howstuffworks.com/electricity.htm Now QYB, STFU, and GBTW.

    And for the love of evil, contribute "deeper" information to those who REQUEST it. Don't start rambling on about the physics of atoms when someone asks something as simple as "how to measure amperage". Stay within the scope of THEIR question. If they want more info, let them ask for it.
     
  19. Ratch

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 20, 2007
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    m4yh3m,

    Who are you refering to m4yh3m, and how are they going off topic?

    Ratch
     
  20. mik3

    Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
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    Holes are not particles. People think of them as particles to make thinks easier. A hole is just a place where an electron was before it leaves this place. Because the electron is negative the hole is said to be positive.
     
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