1947 – USA
‘The First Transistor’
Shockley was a member of the team at Bell Laboratories investigating the properties of electricity conducting crystals, focusing in particular on Germanium.
This research led to the development of the junction transistor, virtually invalidating the vacuüm tube overnight.
The transistor was developed in 1947 as a replacement for bulky vacuum tubes and mechanical relays. The invention revolutionized the world of electronics and became the basic building block upon which all modern computer technology rests.
In 1956, Bell Labs scientists William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for the transistor.
Shockley also founded Shockley Semiconductor in Mountain View, California — one of the first high-tech companies in what would later become known as Silicon Valley.