Esaki, Leo (1925–)
Japanese physicist who developed the tunnel
diode, a semiconductor that allows electrons to cross normally impassable
electronic barriers. Ivar Giaever extended
Esaki's research to the field of superconductivity,
which led to the prediction of the Josephson effect (electrical
effects of a current flowing between superconductors). For this work, they
shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics with Brian Josephson.
The tunnel diode, also called the Esaki diode, has found
extensive applications, which include its use in computer information storage.