HPS Colloquia Series for 1997-98


The Program in History and Philosophy of Science presents:


"Bell Labs and the Origins of the Integrated Circuit"

By Michael Riordan
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University

October 9, 1997, 4:30 pm

Room 217 Stanford University


Although the transistor was invented at the Bell Telephone Laboratories, which also developed most of the semiconductor technology used to manufacture it, the integrated circuit was invented elsewhere--at Texas Instruments and Fairchild Semiconductor Company--by "outsiders" Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce. I will trace this evolution, with emphasis on how silicon technology reached the Bay area, and explain the economic, technological and sociological reasons why Bell Labs missed out on the microchip.


Michael Riordan is Assistant to the Director at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and a Research Physicist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is author of "The Hunting of the Quark" (Simon & Schuster, 1987), and co-author of "The Shadows of Creation: Dark Matter and the Structure of the Universe" (W. H. Freeman, 1991) and the recently published "Crystal Fire: The Birth of the Information Age" (W. W. Norton, 1997). At Santa Cruz, he works on the history of physics, especially particle physics, and is involved in an NSF-funded study of the Rise and Fall of the Superconducting Super Collider.


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