1947 Transistor

The book of science

Tom Sharp

William Shockley, Walter Houser Brattain, John Bardeen electromagnetism



Surface states

The first transistor was a point-contact, germanium crystal doped with “certain impurities.” Shockley, Brattain, and Bardeen were not the first to propose a solid-state transistor, and German physicists independently invented the same thing only months after. John R. Pierce, who supervised Bardeen, Brattain, and Shockley at Bell Labs, coined the term transistor in comparison to a property of the vacuum tube, transconductance.

In analog devices, transistors act as amplifiers. In digital electronic devices, transistors act as switches. The transistor can also act as a rectifier with a very low voltage drop.

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