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Ivar Giaever won the Nobel Prize in 1973 for his investigations of tunneling in semiconductors and superconductors.




Video recorded in 2004.  In this interview Ivar Giaever tells us that his mother and father wanted him to be a locksmith. They were both pharmacists. He was fortunate to be able to read a lot as a child as his father bought books at auctions, in particular he remembers reading Tarzan!

Giaever went to a very small school twice a week and wanted to train as an electrical engineer but had to train as a mechanical engineer as he only had a ‘B’ in French. 1952 he managed to get a job in Norway but could not find a home so he emigrated to Canada as a Canadian visa only took three weeks to be processed.

Giaever found on arrival in Toronto at the age of 25-26 years old that it was difficult to get a job and ‘went knocking on people’s doors’. He eventually got a job with General Electrics and John Fisher became his mentor.

Giaever worked on metal thin films and tunneling and took a Solid State physics course. Although he knew nothing about Superconductivity, Cold Temperature work or anything else in this area – he found everybody in General Electrics to be very helpful towards his work.

Giaever is not religious and thinks religion is to blame for a lot of the ills of the world. His wife and he ski regularly.


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Ivar Giaever - Tunneling In Semiconductors And Superconductors

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