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Invention of the Point Contact Transistor, 1954

What's the Point?

Bardeen and Brattain received accolades for their development of the first transistor. The transistor serves two primary functions: it conducts electricity in a particular direction, and it amplifies electricity. Transistors are a key component of myriad electronic devices, from hearing aids to radios to radar. The first transistor was half an inch high; today seven million transistors are able to fit snugly in a single computer chip. Though the transistor has been modified and streamlined over the years, Bardeen and Brattain laid much of the groundwork for this device with their achievement in November of 1947.

The Franklin Institute issued a press release and published an article acknowledging the achievements and outlining the backgrounds of Bardeen and Brattain. You can view this publicity by clicking on the thumbnails at right.