March 1956 Radio-Electronics
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Electronics,
published 1930-1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
Lots of unfamiliar names
of crystal minerals appear in this infomercial by Bell Telephone Laboratories in
a 1956 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine. A few such as sodium
chloride (aka table salt), arsenic, cuprite, perovskite, spinel, graphite, and
beryllium are fairly well known to those of us in the electronics realm, but
others like rutile, tridymite, cristobalite, wurtzite, diamond, and niccolite
are new to me. Interestingly,
rutile "has one of the highest refractive indices at visible wavelengths of
any known crystal and also exhibits a particularly large birefringence and high
dispersion." I should have known that.
Cristobalite has the
same composition as quartz but with a different crystal structure.
Niccolite, and a couple
others contain arsenic. Why are Bell Labs scientists concerned with these and
By investigating and learning the properties of a wide variety of materials,
examples useful to the improvement of their telecommunications infrastructure
and end user devices were be discovered. Equally importantly, things that are
detrimental to those same components were identified and dealt with either by
avoidance or mitigation efforts.
Bell Telephone Laboratories Ad - From Atoms to Stars
Crystal-structure models. Top row, left to right: cuprite, zincblende, rutile,
perovskite, tridymite. Second row: cristobalite, potassium dihydrogen phosphate,
diamond, pyrites, arsenic. Third row: caesium chloride, sodium chloride, wurtzite,
copper, niccolite. Fourth row: spinel, graphite, beryllium, carbon dioxide, alpha-quartz.
Research at Bell Telephone Laboratories ranges from the ultimate structure of
solids to the radio signals from outer space. Radio interference research created
the new science of radio astronomy; research in solids produced the transistor and
the Bell Solar Battery.
Between atoms and stars lie great areas of effort and achievement in physics,
electronics, metallurgy, chemistry and biology. Mechanical engineers visualize and
design new devices. Mathematicians foreshadow new communications techniques.
Despite the diversity of their talents, Bell Laboratories scientists and engineers
have much in common. A habit of teamwork channels these talents into great communications
advances. These men have developed the world's finest telephone system. In doing
so, many have become leaders in their fields. Opportunities for achievement await
properly qualified scientists and engineers at Bell Telephone Laboratories.
Models of the atomic patterns in solids help Bell Laboratories scientists visualize
their electrical behavior.
Directional antenna used by Karl G. Jansky in discovery of stellar radio signals
at Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1932.
Bell Telephone Laboratories
World Center of Communications Research • Largest Industrial Laboratory
in the United States
Posted October 25, 2022