Teachers Taught About Transistors
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Teachers Taught About Transistors
 Reprinted With Permission Bell Telephone Laboratories Record Aug. 1952 

"Students" attending a school on transistor physics at Murray Hill during the week of June 9-13 were members of the staffs of electrical engineering and physics departments at a number of universities, colleges, and institutions of technology. A total of 63 students, representing 33 schools, included several department heads and one Dean of Engineering. About 60 per cent of the members of the technical staff of Bell Telephone Laboratories have, during the course of their education, attended one or more of the schools represented by the group.

The course was designed to facilitate the introduction of transistor physics into university courses, and emphasis was placed on experiments that might be carried out in universities. Ten lectures on the basic theory of semi-conductors and the principles of transistor action were presented by Prof. John Bardeen, of the University of Illinois. Prof. Bardeen, during his period of employment at the Laboratories, and in collaboration with W. H. Brattain, invented the point contact transistor.

Several discussion sessions were held, and a group of six experiments were included in the laboratory portion of the course. Such items as transistor action, point contact transistors, the properties of p-n junctions and junction transistors, and the behavior of injected holes and electrons in the presence of electric and magnetic fields, were demonstrated. One evening session was held at the request of the students, in which some of the techniques of preparing specimens for scientific purposes were demonstrated. A group of six students remained for several additional days to gain experience and to prepare specimens for use in their own laboratories.

On Wednesday evening the participants in the course were guests of the Laboratories at an informal dinner attended by the men who conducted the course and other members of the Laboratories staff. This was followed by a talk by J. W. McRae who described the aims and objectives of the Laboratories in its post-graduate educational activity for new employees. Guests at the dinner then joined in a lively discussion of educational problems of mutual interest to the educational institutions and to the Laboratories.

Information and material presented in this course will be introduced into courses at several of the schools represented. Present indications are that over eighteen different courses will contain transistor physics experiments as presented at the Laboratories, and some of the schools plan to extend their teaching in transistor physics and electronics to a full year. To assist in this activity, Bell Telephone Laboratories plans to furnish a number of specimens of germanium and transistors to the schools. Some of these specimens were prepared by the students themselves who stayed on after the course.
A group of the students of the Transistor Teachers Summer School are engaged in the fabrication of specimens for use in their courses, with instruction being given by members of the Laboratories staff. At extreme left are Prof. D. G. Burkhard, U. of Colo., and R. M. Showers, U. of Penn. Seated at right are E. J. Scheibner, Ill. Inst. of Tech., D. W. Gade, Iowa State, and Dr. B. Lax, M. I. T. Standing, Prof. B. R. Russell, U. of Penn., P. W. Foy, K. Metzgar and W. Westphal, BTL.

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We are proud to have on display at the museum one of the transistors that Bell Telephone Labs gave to Dr. John Bardeen. Dr. Bardeen had left Bell Labs to teach at University of Illinois in 1951. 

In the museum's display, not only will you see the actual transistor, but you will see the copy of the spec sheets and the letter that was sent to Dr. Bardeen. A copy of Dr. Bardeen's letter to the museum is also a part of the display.

The transistor is a A1698 and is from what we call a "PILOT RUN". What this means is that the transistor was made after the age of experimentation, but before full production in large amounts went into effect.


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