Following within two weeks the Rochester International Conference on Semiconductors, the US Naval Research Laboratory conducted a Conference on Thermoelectricity on September 3 and 4, 1958, in the Department of Interior auditorium in Washington, D.C. More than 450 scientists and engineers from university, government, and industrial laboratories attended. The conference had as its primary goal the exploration of “problems in physics, chemistry, and engineering related to the development of thermoelectric materials”. Although the conference was “prompted by military interest in thermoelectricity”, it was an open technical meeting. As will be seen below, the program was concerned primarily with basic research on materials for both power generation and cooling and only a few papers were devoted in any way to specific applications or the design of devices.

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