Walter H. Brattain Born 10 February 1902, (location?); Died 13 Ocober 1987, ; With John Bardeen and William Shockley, developer of the transistor and Nobel Laureate.

Educ: Prof. Exp: Research Physicist, Bell Telephone Laboratories, 1929-1967; Adjunct Professor, Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, 1967-; Honors and Awards: Nobel Prize for Physics with John Bardeen and W. Shockley, 1956.

Brattain was born in Amoy, China. In 1929 he became a research physicist for Bell Telephone Laboratories. His chief field of research involved investigations into the surface properties of solids, particularly the atomic structure of a material at the surface, which usually differs from its atomic structure in the interior. He became adjunct professor at Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, in 1967. He was granted a number of patents and wrote extensively on solid state physics.

Physicists John Bardeen, William B. Shockley, and Walter Brattain shared the 1956 Nobel Prize for jointly inventing the transistor, a solid-state device that could amplify electrical current. The transistor performed electronic functions similar to the vacuum tube in radio and television, but was far smaller and used much less energy. The transistor became the building block for all modern electronics and the foundation for microchip and computer technology. [1]


Significant Publications

Bardeen, John, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley. 1964. Nobel Lectures - Physics, 1942-62, Elsevier, New York.


Semiconductor amplifier; Three-electrode circuit element utilizing semiconductive materials, US Patent Nos. 2,502,488; 2,524,035

[1] From, 1 April 1997.

Last updated 2000/02/14
© J.A.N. Lee, 2000.