1948 · Lancaster, PA:
"In 1947, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain, working at Bell Telephone Laboratories, were trying to understand the nature of the electrons at the interface between a metal and a semiconductor. They realized that by making two point contacts very close to one another, they could make a three terminal device - the first "point contact" transistor. They quickly made a few of these transistors and connected them with some other components to make an audio amplifier. This audio amplifier was shown to chief executives at Bell Telephone Company, who were very impressed that it didn't need time to "warm up" (like the heaters in vacuum tube circuits). They immediately realized the power of this new technology. This invention was the spark that ignited a huge research effort in solid state electronics. Bardeen and Brattain received the Nobel Prize in Physics, 1956, together with William Shockley, "for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect." – Nobel Prize Committee.
In "The Transistor" (1948) is the schematic diagram, showing the construction of the germanium triode, or transistor, a semi-conducting device which could act as an oscillator or an amplifier, thereby replacing larger, bulky, less efficient vacuum tubes. The longer 1949 paper includes this same diagram, but also contains a cutaway microphotograph of the transistor. Research by Bardeen and Brattain led them to the discovery that electron flows on the surface of a semi-conducting surface (initially silicon and germanium) may be modulated and controlled by "doping" the crystal with specific quantities and depositions of conducting elements. Hence was born the technology of microelectronics, by employing layers of "dirty sand" to build the complex electronic circuitry that we use every day today. "The transistor revolutionized the electronics industry, allowing the Information Age to occur, and made possible the development of almost every modern electronic device, from telephones to computers to missiles. [Bardeen's] developments in superconductivity, which won him his second Nobel, are used in medical advances such as CAT scans and MRI." – Wikip. Bardeen is the only person to have won the Nobel Prize in physics twice. The first time was for the invention of the transistor, awarded in 1956. The second time was in 1972, with Leon N. Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer, for a fundamental theory of conventional superconductivity known as the "BCS theory."
With: Richard P. Feynman, "Relativistic Cut-Off for Classical Electrodynamics." – pp. 1430-1438. Vol. 74, no. 10. Nov, 15, 1948. Feynman's first paper on quantum electrodynamics.
Norman, Origins of cyberspace, 450. (Inventory #: S13088)