H. Tracy Hall
Date of birth : 1919-11-20
Date of death : 2008-07-25
Birthplace : Ogden, Utah,U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-10-03
As a research chemist at General Electric, H. Tracy Hall was assigned to the company's artificial diamond project, seeking to find an affordable diamond for industrial, aerospace, and manufacturing uses. In 1954, using a press of Hall's design exerting pressure of about 1.5 million pounds per square inch at temperatures in excess of 4,800°F, Hall and his team achieved success. Since he was working in a GE lab, the patent was owned by his employer, but as a symbol of its gratitude the company awarded Hall two US savings bonds.
After leaving GE, Hall entered academia at Brigham Young University, where he developed an even more powerful tetrahedral press in 1957, and a later improved design called the cubic anvil press. In 1966 he founded MegaDiamond, a diamond-manufacturing company that also sells high pressure equipment.
In 1970 he was awarded the Chemical Pioneers Award by the American Institute of Chemists.
In 1972 he was awarded the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention: "For being the first to discover a reproducible reaction system for making synthetic diamonds from graphite, and for the concept and design of a super high pressure apparatus which not only made the synthesis possible, but brought about a whole new era of high pressure research."
In 1977 he was the recipient of the James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials from the American Physical Society.
The 1994 Governor's Medal for Science and Technology
View the full website biography of H. Tracy Hall.