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Bell Telephone Laboratories - An Adventure in Silicon
May 1955 Radio & Television News

May 1955 Radio & TV News
May 1955 Radio & Television News Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

A few months ago, one of America's big-city mayors made the proclamation, "We're not going to make America great again. It was never that great." There has been a big push in the last decade to not only erase the significant accomplishments and sacrifices of America's and Western Europe's past, but to vilify those people and institutions that make up that past. Purging the records and rewriting history is a tried and true method of assuring few have easy access to archival material documenting the accomplishments of the nation's past. Along with desiring to provide useful and interesting material to people seeking technical and historical information, my motivation is also to keep in peoples' minds the facts of our heritage and who it was that built the foundations of most of the modern world. That's not to ignore the contributions of others, but we are at the point where our place needs to be defended against a mounting onslaught. Thus, I give you this advertisement from the inestimable Bell Telephone Labs.

Bell Telephone Laboratories: An Adventure in Silicon

Bell Telephone Laboratories: An Adventure in Silicon, May 1955 Radio & Television News - RF CafeOne example of junction technology at Bell Laboratories. Here a junction is produced on the surface of silicon by bombardment with alpha particles. Bombardment enhances silicon's performance at very high frequencies.

One day in the 'thirties a revolutionary adventure began for Bell scientists. They were testing an experimental silicon crystal they had grown to make microwave detectors.

Intriguingly, they. found that one end of the crystal conducted by means of positive charges, the other end with negative. Positive and negative regions met in a mysterious barrier, or junction, that rectified, and was sensitive to light. It was something entirely new ... with challenging possibilities.

The scientists went on to develop a theory of j unction phenomena. They showed that two junctions placed back-to-back make an amplifier. They devised ways to make reproducible junctions. Thus, junction technology came into being, and the 20th Century had a new horizon in electronics.

This technology has already produced at Bell Telephone Laboratories the versatile junction transistor (useful in amplifiers and switches); the silicon alloy diode (surpassingly efficient in electronic switching for computers); and the Bell Solar Battery which turns sunshine directly into useful amounts of electric current.

This is one of many adventures in science which make up the day-to-day work at Bell Laboratories ... aimed at keeping America's telephone service the world's best.

Bell Telephone Laboratories World Center of Communications R&D - RF CafeBell Telephone Laboratories

Improving telephone service for America provides careers for creative men in scientific and technical fields



Posted May 23, 2019

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