Documentary Night: Transistorized!

#william #shockley #john #bardeen #walter #brattain #bell #labs #birth #of #silicon #valley #ieeesemich #2024 #75 #Kalwani #movie #documentary #michigan #computing #technology #computer

The history of the humble transistor

Transistorized! Traces the discovery, invention and impact of the transistor, perhaps the most important invention of the 20th century. Hosted by Ira Flatow, the documentary recounts how American life was utterly transformed by the transistor, and how its basic principles have flowered into technologies that will dominate the next century.

AFTER the documentary - we can have a brief discussion session. NOTE: You must supply your own soda pop and popcorn! :-) Trivia may also follow, so bring your Jeopardy hats too!


Welcome Region 1 and Region 2, Computer Chapters, and Professional Activities.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 27 Feb 2024
  • Time: 06:00 PM to 07:15 PM
  • All times are (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
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  • Starts 18 January 2024 05:22 PM
  • Ends 27 February 2024 03:00 PM
  • All times are (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
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  • No Admission Charge



The Transistor

The transistor is one of the 20th century’s most important inventions. It revolutionized technology and launched the Information Age. Its creation is a dramatic story of top secret research, serendipitous accidents, collaborative genius and clashing egos. Transistorized!, the one hour documentary (originally aired on PBS), tells the compelling story of the history of the transistor and the scientists who discovered it. They include William Shockley, who assembled the team at Bell Labs that built the first working transistors, but whose driving ego ultimately ended their collaboration; John Bardeen, a theoretical genius whose profound insights paved the way to the final discovery; and Walter Brattain, whose persistent tinkering led to the breakthrough that resulted in the first transistor.

Host Ira Flatow leads us through a vivid and entertaining tour of the key moments in the history of the transistor — from the scientific breakthroughs early in the 20th century that set the stage for the invention, through the frustrations and serendipitous accidents that made the first transistor work, to the evolution of the first transistorized products and the birth of Silicon Valley. All inextricably interwoven with the tale of the brilliant collaboration and dramatic demise of the team that made the transistor possible.


There is plenty of material publicly available on the history of the transistor and of course all the theory and physics and engineering behind it. A good starting point can be:

Some links:

The invention of the first transistor at Bell Labs was named an IEEE Milestone in 2009. See,_Inc.,_1947

Other Milestones include the inventions of the junction transistor in 1948 and the MOSFET in 1959. See most of these milestones at

Reading Material:

Attached to this link is the following PDF: IEEE JOURNAL OF SOLID-STATE CIRCUITS, VOL. 32, NO. 12, DECEMBER 1997, "A History of the Invention of the Transistor and Where It Will Lead Us", William F. Brinkman, Member, IEEE, Douglas E. Haggan, and William W. Troutman


Address:Cyber City, Michigan, United States, 48309


6:00 PM - Welcome and Introductions, Chapter business update; (on your own) Pizza, Popcorn and Soda Pop
6:05 PM - Documentary
7:05 PM - End of Documentary; Start of Q & A; Group Discussion
7:15 PM - Wrap Up 

 ALL times are in EST/EDT (UTC-4 or UTC-5) depending upon local day light savings times in when effect

An IEEE Southeastern Michigan Section event. All are welcome. Consider becoming an IEEE member if such similar events are of professional/academic interest to you/


History of the transistor 204.55 KiB
Transistor Documentary - FLYER Transistor Documentary - FLYER 333.16 KiB