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The Transistor, Part 2: Out Of The Crucible (technicshistory.wordpress.com)
82 points by akakievich on June 22, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments

Great read. For those who want to start at Part 1:


Related: a modern day teen who makes low transistor count ICs in his garage: https://interestingengineering.com/this-teen-is-building-diy...

AmpHour Podcast episode on the teen: https://theamphour.com/390-an-interview-with-sam-zeloof/

What I found super interesting from part I is that they envisioned the FET first (which is closer in analogy to a vacuum tube), ended up building the contact point transistor and then much later the FET idea returned and became extremely important.

This passage:

"Just as Lee De Forest had taken a vacuum tube rectifier and placed an electrified grid between the source and the sink of the current, so did Brattain and Becker imagine inserting a grid into the interface between the copper and copper oxide, where the act of rectification was presumed to occur. However, given the thinness of this layer, it seemed to them impossible to actually do this, and they made no real headway."

Clearly presages the FET.

Jeri Ellsworth did this as well if anyone hasn't seen it https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5DCEA197C1C07A2D

I didn't know Shockley's strange roll and behavior in all of this. A wonderful article.

Shockley aspired to take on more executive roles at corporations but was relegated to take up academic roles, for which he was more suitable.

Great overview

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