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Invention of the Point Contact Transistor, 1954


Materials can be defined by their ability (or lack thereof) to conduct electricity. Materials are classed into one of four groups, depending on how well they conduct electricity. They can be classified as insulators, conductors, semiconductors or superconductors. Every material is composed of atoms, and every atom has a nucleus with a certain number of electrons circling it. The way these electrons are arranged around the nucleus is what determines a given material's ability to conduct electricity.

In order to conduct Medal Day ceremonies properly, The Franklin Institute inquired after the marital status, proper name and title, and university affiliation of its award recipients. In addition, the secretary of the Institute made hotel arrangements for medal winners and invited them to bring guests. You can read the letters regarding Bardeen and Brattain's respective marital statuses by clicking on the thumbnails at right.