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75 Years Ago – Bell Telephone Laboratories Introduces the Transistor to the World – “The Most Important Invention of the 20th Century”

Posted by Guy Pirro 12/18/2022 08:45PM

75 Years Ago – Bell Telephone Laboratories Introduces the Transistor to the World – “The Most Important Invention of the 20th Century”

Seventy Five years ago, December 23, 1947, three scientists at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, demonstrated a small semiconductor device, the transistor, which had remarkable electronic amplification and switching properties. John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley, the three Bell Labs inventors of the transistor, had been investigating the properties of semiconductors to see if they could come up with an acceptable substitute for the vacuum tubes and electro-mechanical relays used in telephone networks of the day. Little did they know that their invention would change the world. Today, there are transistors in every place where an electronic device can be found, including satellites and spacecraft. The transistor is the workhorse of electronic technology -- the device that heralded the start of the digital age. Transistors are the basic building block of all integrated circuits. Entire industries based on semiconductors were created in its wake. Indeed, technology as we know it today would not be possible without the transistor.


Comments:

  • ks1u [George Blahun]
  • 12/19/2022 06:48PM
Aside from the monumental impact of this discovery, whenever I hear Shockley's name mentioned I am reminded of how brilliance in one field is not always relevant in another. Shockley, an unabashed racist, was criticized fiercely and justifiably for his attempt to embrace an area of science for which he was completely unqualified.