Three American physicists-John Bardeen, Walter H.Brattain, and William
Shockley-invented the transistor in 1947. The transistor has now almost
completely replaced the vacuum tube and most of its applications. Incorporating
an arrangement of semiconductor materials and of electrical contacts, the
transistor provides the same functions as the vacuum to but at a reduced cost,
weight, size, and power consumption and with higher reliability.
revolutionized the electronics industry, dramatically reducing the size of
computers and other equipment. Transistors were used as amplifiers in hearing
aids and pocket-sized radios and the early 1950's. By the 1960's, semiconductor
diodes and transistors had replaced vacuum tubes in many types of equipment.