It can't be argued that we've come a long way as a species and as a society without it, but one thing's for sure - we couldn't have advanced this far technologicaly. On Sunday, the humble transistor turns 60, in no small part thanks to three guys: 'William Shockley (1910-1989), John Bardeen (1908-1991) and Walter Brattain (1902-1987). As El Reg also notes, 'it was Bardeen and Brattain who made the first working point-contact transistor on 16 December 1947.'

So, while you're in the pub, enjoying some sports on the plasma TV whilst sipping on a pint brewed to tightly-controlled specifications in a computer-controlled brewery, pause for a moment's thought and say thanks to three of the people who gifted society with one of the most ingenious little inventions in recent history.


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