Shockley, William Bradford

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Shockley, 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. Navy during World War II, he returned to work at Bell Laboratories. There he and two colleagues, 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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 and Walter H. BrattainBrattain, 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.
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, produced the first 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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 in 1947; for this work they shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1956. Shockley taught electrical engineering at Stanford from 1958 to 1975. In the late 1960s and 1970s he became the center of controversy when he lectured on his theory that blacks were intellectually inferior and, by reproducing faster than whites, were causing a retrogression in human evolution. Most social scientists took issue with his interpretation of gross intelligence quotient (IQ) scores because he made no allowance for cultural and social influences.

Shockley, William Bradford


Born Feb. 13, 1910, in London. American physicist.

Shockley graduated from the California Institute of Technology in 1932 and later continued his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1936 to 1942 and from 1946 to 1954 he worked at the Bell Telephone Laboratories. From 1942 to 1945 he worked in the Department of War. From 1955 to 1958 he was director of the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory. From 1958 to 1960 he was president of the Shockley Transistor Corporation, and from 1960 to 1963, director of the Shockley Transistor unit of the Clevite Corporation. Beginning in 1958, Shockley taught at Stanford University, where he was a professor from 1963 to 1975.

Shockley’s main research has dealt with solid-state physics, including semiconductor physics, ferromagnetism, the plasticity of metals, and the theory of dislocations. In 1948, Shockley discovered the transistor effect, for which he received a Nobel Prize in 1956 (with J. Bardeen and W. Brattain).


In Russian translation:
Teoriia elektronnykh poluprovodnikov: Prilozheniia k teorii tranzistorov. Moscow, 1953.


Les Prix Nobel en 1956. Stockholm, 1957. Pages 59–60.
Rzhanov, A. V. “Sozdateli‘tranzistora’.” Priroda, 1957, no. 3.