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Did AT&T Invent The Transistor?
Could it have come from back-engineered technology?
Did the transistor evolve from the vacuum tube?
Texas Instruments, I believe, was the first company to actually produce transistors.
The first transistor was invented at Bell Laboratories on December 16, 1947 by William Shockley (seated at Brattain's laboratory bench), John Bardeen (left) and Walter Brattain (right). This was perhaps the most important electronics event of the 20th century, as it later made possible the integrated circuit and microprocessor that are the basis of modern electronics. Prior to the transistor the only alternative to its current regulation and switching functions (TRANSfer resISTOR) was the vacuum tube, which could only be miniaturized to a certain extent, and wasted a lot of energy in the form of heat. Although video was possible with vacuum tube equipment, as was the case with the Ampex VRX-1000, without the transistor video products would never have gotten very small.
The picture on the left above shows the first point contact transistor built by Walter Brattain. It consisted of a plastic triangle lightly suspended above a germanium crystal which itself was sitting on a metal plate attached to a voltage source. A strip of gold was wrapped around the point of the triangle with a tiny gap cut into the gold at the precise point it came in contact with the germanium crystal. The germanium acted as a semiconductor so that a small electric current entering on one side of the gold strip came out the other side as a proportionately amplified current.
No, AT&T didn't invent it. It came from Bell Labs.
have read somewhere that when William Shockley was asked to explain how he did it, and produce papers showing the steps he took to produce it, he could not do this. Guess we will never know for sure.
Interestingly, germanium transistors are still (though rarely) used in some specific applications because they have a lower cutoff voltage, but I personally have never built anything using one.
Did the transistor evolve from the vacuum tube?
Yes and no. The concept of using a small signal to effect a large one (the principle of amplification) is the same in vacuum tubes as in transistors, so they could be seen as an evolution in that sense. But the structure and operation are entirely different.
Well, I wasn't even born yet in the 70s (1982) but yeah transistors took awhile before they became widely used. They were larger and more difficult to manufacture at first, and we didn't have the integrated circuit yet when the transistor was invented.
Interestingly, germanium transistors are still (though rarely) used in some specific applications because they have a lower cutoff voltage, but I personally have never built anything using one. I think they have greater electron mobility, too, if I remember right, but germanium transistors are more expensive because we have developed way better manufacturing processes for silicon than germanium.
I'm a guitar player, among other things, including an electronics tinkerer (also self-taught). It occurs to me that the transistor could be an analog of the triode tube, no?
The true nutballs are arguing germanium vs silicon for the one or two transistors in their little distortion boxes. Yes, germanium is very accurate for bad 60's and 70's distortion. One guy claims to be able to hear the tonal difference between regular and alkaline batteries in his boxes (which might explain the tremendous amount of time between albums).
Mind you, these boxes all go in front of the ubiquitous TUBE amp, because they wouldn't be caught dead with a solid state amp (for good reason, of course).
Damn this is an interesting place!
Originally posted by TheRedneck
Man, am I jealous! My father could play anything with strings (banjo, rhythm, lead, steel, fiddle, mandolin) and my son plays rhythm/lead now. Me, I have trouble playing a radio.
The idea is to use a circuit that combines a slight reverb effect with a slight blurring of the original sound. The result is amazing!
What do you do for blurring?
I have to admit that software has come a long way. I tried out Native Instruments' Guitar Rig and was quite impressed. Not sure they'll ever get the on the edge distortion but the heavy stuff is all there, complete with processing.
I have one of the first gen Pods, which is a cute little toy. Also a Fender Deluxe with metal 6SC7's. There's interesting stuff at both ends, but it's still tubes for me.
Thanks for the informed input!
Merry Happys to everyone.