Leo Esaki is a Japanese physicist who shared half the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973 with Ivar Giaever for the discovery of the phenomenon of electron tunneling. The second half of the prize was awarded to Brian David Josephson. He is known for his invention of the Esaki diode, which exploited the electron tunneling phenomenon.
Video recorded in 2004. Esaki tells us that his father was an actor and his mother an artist. He graduated in 1947, which was a difficult time for Japan and he decided to go into industry to try contribute to the economy through working in electronics. The company that he worked for later developed into Sony.
His early work was on the vacuum tube which was the dominant electronic device prior to 1947 when the transistor was invented at Bell Telephone and the new filed of semiconductor physics was born. Leo Esaki is both an experimentalist and a theoretician. Links To Other Information: