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Clarence Zener

Clarence Melvin Zener (December 1, 1905 - July 15, 1993) was an American physicist who described to the electrical property exploited by the Zener diode, which Bell Labs named after him. Zener was a theoretical physicist with a background in mathematics who also wrote on a range of subjects including superconductivity, metallurgy, and geometric programming.

Zener was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and earned his PhD in physics from Harvard in 1930 with the thesis "Quantum Mechanics of the Formation of Certain Types of Diatomic Molecules". He taught at several American universities before working at the Watertown Aresenal during World War II. He taught at Chicago (1945-1951), worked at Westinghouse (1951-1965) taught at Texas A&M (1966-1968), and taught at Carnegie-Mellon (1968-1993).

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