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Another interesting analogy, pointed out by Prof. Graeme Milton, can be seen when you examine Maxwell's equations in media at a fixed frequency $\omega$:  \boldsymbol{\nabla} \times \mathbf{E} = i\omega\boldsymbol{\mu}(\mathbf{x})\cdot\mathbf{H}(\mathbf{x}) ~;~~ \boldsymbol{\nabla} \times \mathbf{H} = ...

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From "The Transistor, A Semi-Conductor Triode", by J. Bardeen and W. H. Brattain, Phys Rev. 74(2), 230-231 (1948): "The device consists of three electrodes placed on a block of germanium as shown schematically in Fig. 1. Two, called the emitter and collector, are of the point-contact rectifier type and are placed in close proximity (separation ~0.005 to ...

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The practical answer to what you are proposing, is that it would not act as a diode. This is primarily due to contact surface area contamination and irregularity. However, if you can make the contact surface area clean, perfectly flat, and heat up the parts to an appropriate temperature (all done in a vacuum), then it might be possible. Keep in mind that ...

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The answer to your main question is NO. Connecting only one side of a battery (positive or negative) does not alter the electrical state of the block (semiconductor, copper, etc.). It is only until the negative side of the battery is also applied, that something can happen. For an undoped block, since the resistance is large, a small current will flow. For ...

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