Brief history of the transistor - Bardeen, Brattain or Shockley?

Brief history of the transistor - Bardeen, Brattain or Shockley?

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Who created what?

Bardeen and Brattain created the transistor with point contacts, made of two gold foil contacts, placed on a germanium crystal. When electric current is applied to one contact, the German amplifies the electric current passing through the other contact.

Shockley later designed a new type of transistor called the "bipolar" transistor, which was superior to the transistor with point contacts, and replaced it. Thus, the transistor was, for the most part, Shockley's creation. In 1956, the team received the Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the transistor.

William Shockley was raised in Palo Alto. He was the son of a mining engineer. He worked at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1932, pursuing a doctorate at MIT. When he finished his doctorate in quantum physics, he worked at Bell Labs. Shockley began work in 1936 on the theory of solid state physics that formed the basis of the transistor.

There was a priority for this type of device. Early radios had signal detectors made of a fine wire, called a "mustache," which together with a galena crystal (lead sulfide) detected the sound component of the received signal. These early radios worked, but not perfectly.

How does galena crystal radio work?

To better understand how galena crystal radio works, we've attached the video below:

Bardeen and Brattain used germanium instead of galena to make the first transistor, and Shockley's bipolar transistor design eliminated delicate and annoying contacts.

The transistors were later made of silicon, a much more common element that was protected from corrosion. Texas Instruments, Dallas, first began commercial production of portable radio junction transistors in 1954. Then, the Japanese company Sony immediately acquired the right to produce transistors and came to dominate the market. In the 1960s, Sony began producing televisions using transistors instead of vacuum tubes.

In 1956, Shockley returned to Palo Alto, his hometown, to start his own company. He brought in talented engineers and scientists to work for his company, but he was a very difficult person and did not have the talent to run a business. A decision that created controversy and misunderstandings among its employees, was the display / publication of the salaries of all employees. Based on this decision, the top staff decided to leave the company together. They wanted to continue working for another company, and so Steven Fairchild of the Fairchild Chamber, one of the employees, created the Fairchild Semiconductor company for Shockley's group of former employees.

What impact did the invention of the transistor have?

Transistors have transformed the world of electronics and have had a huge impact on the design of electrical and electronic devices, especially the computer.

By replacing bulky and inappropriate tubes with transistors, computers can now perform the same functions, using less power and saving space.

The name transistor comes from "trans" which stands for transmitter and "zistor" which stands for resistor.

A comment

  1. The name TRANSISTOR does not come from TRAN meaning TRANSMITTER. Only a novice can claim such enormity. And cica ZISTOR means RESISTOR (that's right, articulated). Which resistor? That there was no such thing in the presentation. As I said, not only unprofessional, but even stupid approach to the article.

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