HB, transistor


According to Wikipedia, today is the anniversary of the first demonstration of the transistor. Although its history goes back into the 1920-30s when Julius Edgar Lilienfeld and Oskar Heil developed predecessor devices, the transistor was invented in Bell Labs in 1947 by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley.

Brattain and H. R. Moore made a demonstration to several of their colleagues and managers at Bell Labs on the afternoon of 23 December 1947, often given as the birth date of the transistor. The “PNP point-contact germanium transistor” operated as a speech amplifier with a power gain of 18 in that trial. Known generally as a point-contact transistor today. In 1956 John Bardeen, Walter Houser Brattain, and William Bradford Shockley were honored with the Nobel Prize in Physics “for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect”.

These little devices have revolutionized the world. I am a tad younger than the transistor, but it’s been a big part of my life. I can remember early transistor radios; then televisions were reworked. (Yep, I can remember vacuum tube radios and TVs, too.) Of course, the big impact has been in computing.

So, I’ll raise a glass to the lowly transistor for its birthday.

Wikipedia entry on the history of the transistor (quoted). The Porticus production of the Bell Labs history page.


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Filed under Amusements, News, Notes and comments, Technology

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