Edwin Herbert Hall

Hall, Edwin Herbert


Born Nov. 7, 1855, in Gorham, Me.; died Nov. 20, 1938, in Cambridge, Mass. American physicist.

Hall graduated from Bowdoin College in 1878 and was awarded the degree of doctor of philosophy by the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1880. In 1881 he became an instructor at Harvard University, where he was appointed professor in 1895.

Hall’s main works dealt with investigations of thermoelectric, thermal, galvanomagnetic, and thermomagnetic effects in conductors, especially in soft iron. In 1879, Hall discovered the Hall effect, whereby an electric field that is perpendicular to both the direction of the current flow and the magnetic field is produced in a current-carrying conductor placed in a magnetic field whose field strength vector is perpendicular to the direction of the current flow. The factor that enters into the expression for the intensity of the electric field resulting from the Hall effect is called the Hall factor.

Hall was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


“On the New Action of Magnetism on a Permanent Electric Current.” The Philosophical Magazine, 1880, vol. 10, p. 301.


“Prof. E. H. Hall.” Nature, 1939, vol. 143, no. 3613, p. 149.