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It was the latest in a long line of great discoveries made by Schoen. He was only in his early 30s and yet had already made advances in the world of superconductors and lasers.
His name had become so prominent in the scientific journals that to many of his rivals he had taken on legendary status.
Professor Jeremy Baumberg, from Southampton University, UK, told Horizon: "This was the new level of science that you had to match yourself up against, and everybody knew they couldn't, they couldn't meet that.
"It was like competing against a god really." But his transistor work had surpassed everything he had done before.