ENIAC, the most recent electronic computing machine of those times, contained 17,468 electronic lamps and weighed 30 tones. It was not easy to keep pace with the progress with such a heavy device. However, William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain, scientists from Bell Telephone Laboratories research center (you see, there is no progress without telephones!) helped that. They invented the transistor, a semiconductor device for… Well, let’s not go too deeply into details. Shockley explained how transistors works with a simple example: “If you take a bale of hay and tie it to the tail of a mule and then strike a match and set the bale of hay on fire, and if you then compare the energy expended shortly thereafter by the mule with the energy expended by yourself in the striking of the match…” The invention of the transistor was a real revolution in electronics, which was recognized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences that awarded the inventors the Nobel prize in physics.
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