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the drunken engineer

A system was set up and analyzed for the purpose of finding values for Boltzman's constant and the band gap for a silicon semiconductor diode, through experimental data. A diode was connected to a current source, and a current was applied to it. The voltage was then measured, as well as the temperature of the diode. The temperature of the diode was then varied, above and below room temperature. Through a series of mathematical and plotting operations, an experimental value for Boltzman's constant (k) was found to be 1.888x10-23J/K, a deviation of 36% from the accepted value. Using a similar process, the experimental value for the energy gap of the diode was calculated at 1.227eV, a difference from the accepted value of 12%. These differences can be attributed mainly to inaccuracies in the equipment used to measure the data. Also, due to the fact that the temperature readings were not conducted in an isolated environment, the ambient temperature caused a variance in temperature over the course of the experiment. As well as the previous, the equations used do not take in to account the fact that there is a load present on the circuit (due to resistance of wiring, etc), causing another inaccuracy in measurements.