As I mentioned in “Scott Rebuttal III”, Alan H. Wilson was a physicist who initially explored applying quantum mechanics in nuclear astrophysics before writing the two foundational papers of semiconductor electronics using the same quantum mechanical principles. Dr. Wilson was a student of Ralph H. Fowler.
Those familiar with electronics might recognize Ralph Fowler as one of the authors of the Fowler-Nordheim equation.
- R. H. Fowler and L. Nordheim. Electron emission in intense electric fields. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, A119:173–181, 1928.
Prior to this, Dr. Fowler had worked on issues surrounding the effect of the Pauli Principle (Wikipedia), on the mass structure in stellar interiors. The Pauli Principle states that no two fermions (Wikipedia) can occupy the same quantum state at the same time. This principle is responsible for the energy-level structure in atoms. By applying the fundamental principles of hydrostatic pressure combined with the gas laws (Wikipedia), and the Pauli Principle, Fowler demonstrated that the density in stellar interiors could far exceed that available in Earth laboratories due to the weight (pressure) of overlying mass of the star. Eventually, the electrons would fill all the available energy states in the stellar core and would become degenerate (Wikipedia).
Here's some of the papers by Fowler on this topic available through the Astrophysical Data Service. Some of the full papers are available for free through these links:
- R. H. Fowler. Notes on the theory of absorption lines in stellar spectra. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 85:970–+, June 1925.
- R. H. Fowler. On dense matter. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 87:114–122, December 1926.
- R. H. Fowler and E. A. Guggenheim. Applications of statistical mechanics to determine the properties of matter in stellar interiors. Part I The mean molecular weight. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 85:939–+, June 1925a.
- R. H. Fowler and E. A. Guggenheim. Applications of statistical mechanics to determine the properties of matter in stellar interiors. Part II. The Adiabatics. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 85:961–+, June 1925b.
- R. H. Fowler and E. A. Milne. The intensities of absorption lines in stellar spectra, and the temperatures and pressures in the reversing layers of stars. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 83:403–424, May 1923.
- R. H. Fowler and E. A. Milne. The maxima of absorption lines in stellar spectra (Second paper). Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 84:499–+, May 1924.
Electromagnetism by itself was unable to explain the process of cold-cathode emission beyond defining a few simple mathematical relationships from simple experimentss. It took the intervention of physics and particularly the development of quantum mechanics to connect those simple experiments to more fundamental processes. Electromagnetism had the same difficulty explaining the photoelectric effect (Wikipedia).
The development of quantum mechanics turned cold-cathode emission from a mysterious behavior into a well-understood process which enabled others to use the idea in developing more sophisticated technologies such as modern flat-panel displays, etc. It is the same quantum mechanics that predicts 'exotic' states of matter under extreme conditions such as the center of stars.