CHAPTER 3
Minority rule

3.1 The transistor

If one had to choose a single event which truly put semiconductors on the international map, it would surely be the invention of the transistor at Bell Telephone Laboratories in late 1947. Without this dramatic step, the leap into ‘information technology’ which has so radically changed all our lives may never have occurred. What is more, the stimulus which led to so many wide-ranging advances in semiconductor physics and technology would have been lacking and this book may not have been worth writing! The successful development of the transistor can be seen, not only as an enabling technology in its own right but as once-and-for-all justification for the huge financial investment in semiconductor research which was a noteworthy feature of the second half of the twentieth century.

It is interesting, therefore, to examine in some detail the events which led up to this highly significant event, and we do this before attempting to trace the further technical developments leading to the information technology explosion which has affected the social organization of our lives more traumatically, even, than the two world wars which preceded it. Several contributing strands can be distinguished. The philosophy of the research laboratory (as distinct from that of a teaching facility) was, by then, well established but it was the Second World War which not only made influential people aware of the huge contribution science and technology could make to the most deadly serious of human endeavours, it also established, the concept of scientists working together as research teams, rather than as inspired individuals. Additionally, there had arisen in the United States an appreciation of the importance of pure science as a basis for technological advance, in preference to the older ‘cut and try’ methods of entrepreneurial progress which dominated the prewar scene. (On the other hand, the lesson to be learned in Europe had been the importance of applying science in the interests of such progress!) More specifically, AT&T were determined to expand their telecommunications links, worldwide and were keen to maintain technological advantage in any way possible. The thermionic valve, important though it was, could be seen to suffer certain disadvantages and (another lesson from the war) semiconductor scientists

-47-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Story of Semiconductors
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter 1 - Perspectives 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Cat's Whiskers 19
  • Chapter 3 - Minority Rule 47
  • Chapter 4 - Silicon, Silicon, and Yet More Silicon 93
  • Chapter 5 - The Compound Challenge 149
  • Chapter 6 - Low Dimensional Structures 213
  • Chapter 7 - Let There Be Light 277
  • Chapter 8 - Communicating with Light 331
  • Chapter 9 - Semiconductors in the Infrared 385
  • Chapter 10 - Polycrystalline and Amorphous Semiconductors 447
  • Index 503
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 510

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.