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A field effect has been observed on an operating silicon transistor. The results have been interpreted as being due to changes in surface recombination velocity produced by changes in surface potential. Using this approach, it was possible to calculate the surface recombination velocity of the base region of an operating device directly, without having to go to a filament measuring technique and then extrapolating back to the device. Relaxation phenomena have also been observed which can be interpreted as being due to a transfer of charge between the fast and the slow states at the surface. Time constants for this transition have been calculated.