Brattain, Walter Houser

Brattain, Walter Houser,

1902–87, American physicist, b. Xiamen, China, Ph.D. Univ. of Minnesota, 1929. He was a researcher at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J. from 1929 to 1967. He then taught at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., until he retired in 1972. Brattain, William ShockleyShockley, William Bradford,
1910–89, American physicist, b. London. He graduated from the California Institute of Technology (B.S., 1932) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D., 1936). After directing antisubmarine research for the U.S.
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, and John BardeenBardeen, John
, 1908–91, American physicist, b. Madison, Wis., grad. Univ. of Wisconsin (B.S. 1928, M.S. 1929), Ph.D. Princeton, 1936. He was a research physicist at the Bell Telephone Laboratories from 1945 to 1951.
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 were jointly awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention in the late 1940s of the transistortransistor,
three-terminal, solid-state electronic device used for amplification and switching. It is the solid-state analog to the triode electron tube; the transistor has replaced the electron tube for virtually all common applications.
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. The transistor replaced bulky, high-maintenance vacuum tubes in telecommunications systems and became the basic building block of modern radios, televisions, computers, and other electronic devices.
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