Bardeen, William Shockley, Walter Brattain
These three scientists shared the 1956 Nobel Prize
for jointly inventing the transistor, a solid state device that could amplify electric
current. The transistor has replaced the vacuum tube in almost all of its former
applications, and with the invention of the integrated circuit many millions of these
transistors can be packed onto a single sliver of silicon. As a staff member of the
University of Minnesota Bardeen also worked for the US Naval Ordinance Laboratory in
Washington, D.C. afterwards he joined Bell Telephone labs, founded by Alexander Graham
Bell. Among Bardeens other achievements was a theory of superconductivity, and a
theory explaining properties of semiconductors.
Shockley was born in London. He also joined Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1936 and
began several experiments which led to the invention of the junction transistor.
Brattain was born in China. In 1929 he also became a researcher for Bell Labs. His
research involved investigations in to the properties of solids, especially atomic
structures. He was granted a number of patents and wrote extensively on solid state