Robert Noel Hall

  • "Dave and I are so sorry to hear of Bob's passing . Dave's..."
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    - Mary Racette

Hall, Robert Noel SCHENECTADY Robert Noel Hall, 96, passed away on Monday, November 7, 2016. Bob was born in New Haven, Conn. on December 25, 1919, to the late Harry and Clara Hall. He attended Alameda High School and graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a B.S. degree in physics in 1942 and subsequently obtained his Ph.D. in physics from Caltech in 1948. In the midst of his studies, Bob worked for Lockheed Aircraft (1940-1941) and General Electric, Schenectady (1942-1946) as a test engineer. While there he worked on continuous wave magnetrons to jam enemy radar; his version of the magnetron was subsequently used to operate most microwave ovens. Upon graduation, Dr. Hall accepted a position back at the General Electric Research and Development Lab in Schenectady, which he greatly enjoyed until his retirement in 1987. One of his earliest projects involved transistors and power rectifiers using germanium. This work led to developments in A.C.-to-D.C. power conversion. In 1962, Bob invented the semiconductor injection laser. His laser had many applications familiar to us all including compact disc players, laser printers, and optical fiber communications. Next, during the 1970s, Dr. Hall worked on photovoltaics and solar cells. Over the course of his career he was awarded 43 U.S. patents. Bob was a fellow of the American Physical Society and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He was a member of the National Academy of Science and of the National Academy of Engineering. In 1989 he received the Marconi International Fellowship, presented personally to him by Princess Anne in London. Dr. Hall was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994. A man of varied interests and a ceaseless desire to learn, Bob enjoyed the outdoors, including at various times summer homes on Hunt Lake and Lake George. His interests included hiking, sailing, travel with his family, both square and folk dancing and the company of his dog, Katie. Throughout his life he dedicated himself to taking great care of his family, most especially his wife as her health declined. Bob was a member of Faith United Methodist Church. Bob was predeceased by his beloved wife, Dora in 2013. He leaves behind a son, Richard Hallock Hall of Schenectady; and a daughter Elaine Louise (Daniel) Schulz of Rexford; as well as his brother, Syd of Nevada City, Calif. and several cousins, nieces, and nephews. The family of Robert Hall would like to thank the Kingsway Community for their friendship and care over the past several years, most especially the staff of Parkland Gardens and Kingsway Arms Nursing Center. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a funeral service on Friday at 1 p.m. at the Jones Funeral Home, 1503 Union St., (at McClellan St.), Schenectady, with Reverend, Steven Smith officiating. Calling hours will be held on Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Park View Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Robert's memory to F.U.M.C., 811 Brandywine Ave., Schenectady, NY 12308 or to the Wildwood Foundation, 229 Curry Rd., Schenectady, NY 12303. To leave condolences for Robert's family please visit

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Jones Funeral Home Inc
1503 Union Street
Schenectady, NY 12309
(518) 346-3881
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Published in Albany Times Union from Nov. 9 to Nov. 10, 2016