Question

Who invented the transistor?

Asked by: Mary

Answer

In the mid 1940’s a team of scientists working for Bell Telephone Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, were working to discover a device to replace the then present vacuum tube technology. Vacuum tubes were the only technology available at the time to amplify signals or serve as switching devices in electronics. The problem was that they were expensive, consumed a lot of power, gave off too much heat, and were unreliable, causing a great deal of maintenance.  Vacuum Tube

Bardeen, Brattain and ShockleyThe scientists that were responsible for the 1947 invention of the transistor were: John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley. Bardeen, with a Ph.D. in mathematics and physics from Princeton University, was a specialist in the electron conducting properties of semiconductors. Brattain, Ph.D., was an expert in the nature of the atomic structure of solids at their surface level and solid-state physics. Shockley, Ph.D., was the director of transistor research for Bell Labs.

The First Transistor Their original patent name for the transistor was: “Semiconductor amplifier; Three-electrode circuit element utilizing semiconductive materials.” In 1956, the group was awarded the Noble Prize in Physics for their invention of the transistor. In 1977, John Bardeen was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

References:

Answered by: Stephen Portz, Technology Teacher, Space Coast Middle School, FL

Search

Loading


Support Discovery Capsule - Anton's new project on Kickstarter.



Science Quote

'For the sake of persons of ... different types, scientific truth should be presented in different forms, and should be regarded as equally scientific, whether it appears in the robust form and the vivid coloring of a physical illustration, or in the tenuity and paleness of a symbolic expression.'

James Clerk Maxwell
(1831-1879)
Science Sidebar | Science Education Articles
Cool Summer Science Projects

Why not make science a part of your family’s summer? Perhaps you can set aside one day a week for outdoor projects—maybe Mad Scientist Monday or Scientific Saturday? Here are a few ideas to help get you started. Continue reading ...

10 Ways to Keep Your Kids Interested In Science

Young children are natural scientists: they ask questions, pick up sticks and bugs outside, and are curious about the world around them. But as they get a bit older, many kids gradually lose their interest in science. They might see it as just another task at school, something that doesn't apply to their lives. Of course nothing could be further from the truth, so here are ten ways you can remind your kids that science is everywhere. Most of these are fun for adults, too! Continue reading ...

Top Selling

Here are our physics & astronomy bestsellers:
Space Wonder Gyroscope
KonusScience 5 Way Microscope Kit
12 inch Galileo Thermometer
Solar Radiometer
Wood Grain Newtons Cradle
Brush Robot 4M Kit
Tin Can Robot 4M Kit
Electric Plane Launcher 4M Kit
Periscope
Cherry Wood Levitron

Sponsors

USC University of Southern California Dornsife College Physics and Astronomy Department McMaster University Physics and Astronomy Department