Crystal Fire: The Birth of the Information Age

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 1997 - Computers - 352 pages
It is hard to imagine any device more crucial to modern life than the microchip and the transistor from which it sprang. Every waking hour people of the world take their vast benefits for granted - in cellular phones, ATMs, wrist watches, calculators, computers, automobiles, radios, televisions, fax machines, copiers, stoplights, and thousands of other electronic devices. Without a doubt, the transistor is the most important artifact of the twentieth century and the "nerve cell" of our electronic age. Crystal Fire recounts the story of the transistor team at Bell Labs headed up by William Shockley who shared the Nobel Prize with John Bardeen and Walter Brattain. While his colleagues went on to other research, Shockley grew increasingly obsessed with the new gadget. Eventually he formed his own firm - the first semiconductor company in what would become Silicon Valley, spawning hundreds of other businesses and a multi-billion-dollar industry. Above all, Crystal Fire is a tale of the human factors in technology - the pride and jealousies coupled with scientific and economic aspiration that led to the creation of modern microelectronics and ignited the greatest technological explosion in history.
 

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CRYSTAL FIRE: The Birth of the Information Age

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This attempt to dramatize the events leading up to and following the invention of the transistor is mired down in scientific detail. Riordan (The Hunting of the Quark, 1987, etc.) and Hoddeson ... Read full review

CRYSTAL FIRE -LIB 7K

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Hoddeson, a leading scholar on the history of solid state physics, has teamed up with Stanford University physicist Riordan to give us a history of the invention of the transistor--the basic building ... Read full review

Contents

B O RN WITH THE CENTURY 1
13
T H E REVOLUTION WITH IN
28
N DUSTRIAL STRENGTH SCI E N C E
55
T H E PHY S I C S OF DIRT 7 1
88
PO NT OF ENTRY
115
IN OR ITY V EVVS
275
Interviews and Conversations
290
Notes
303
Credits
335
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