Silicon Genesis: Interviews

Al Kossow aek at bitsavers.org
Fri Apr 24 09:55:14 CDT 2009


William Donzelli wrote:
>> People in "Silicon Valley" have an unfortunate habit of discounting
>> technology
>> that was was created before there was a "Silicon Valley".
> 
> The same is true for networking people and what was around before ARPAnet.
> 
>> There is an active group at CHM working on documenting semiconductor
>> history.
> 
> Is there any liason between this CHM group and the Tube Collector
> Association? We in the TCA have been branching out into early
> semiconductors for a few years now (but generally not ICs).
> 

I don't think there is. The group at CHM is the semiconductor special
interest group.

--

If you can find it, take a look at an article that just came out in
the spring 2009 issue of Invention & Technology called "Long Live the
Vacuum Tube!" by Mara Vatz. It has amazing "facts" in it like:

"The basic structure of a vacuum tube is simple: two pieces of metal
separated by nothingness, a vacuum. One piece, the cathode, is heated,
which compels more electrons to leave its confines, or "evaporate", than
would happen at room temperature. The other piece, the anode, is not
heated. The temperature disparity between the two causes electrons
evaporating from the heated anode to travel across the vacuum to the
unheated cathode, but not the other way around."

and..

"Transistors perform essentially the same function, only on a far
smaller scale. But while vacuum tubes have nothing between their two
pieces of metal for an electron to latch onto, transistors are made
of nonconducting ceramic material, which isn't as clean as a vacuum".

This is from a book published by >> MIT PRESS <<
called "Falling for Science: Objects in Mind"

I was hoping this was an April issue, but it appears it is a real article.







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