When American physicists John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain created the transistor in December 1947, no one was excited. But soon scientists were saying the transistor was the 20th century’s greatest invention.
Before the transistor, devices such as televisions, radios, and computers were powered by vacuum tubes. Transistors are much smaller and lighter than vacuum tubes.
They’re also cheaper to make and more reliable. Transistors became the basis of almost all modern electronic devices.
Computers, calculators, telephones, televisions — all became smaller and more powerful with transistors. But transistors would really change the world when they became part of microchips.