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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as Subject

Walter H. Brattain

Photo

Dates

February 10, 1902 – October 13, 1987

Authorized Form of Name

Brattain, Walter H. (Walter Houser), 1902-1987

Additional Forms of Names

Brattain, Walter H., 1902-1987

Brattain, Walter Houser, 1902-1987

Biography

Abstract

Walter Brattain was a winner of the 1956 Nobel Prize in physics along with John Bardeen and William Shockley. While working with John Bardeen, Walter Brattain co-invented the point-contact transistor. His research interests also included the surface properties of semiconductors and the thermionic emission of tungsten.

Important Dates

February 10, 1902Birth, Xiamen (Xiamen Shi, China).

1924Obtained BS, Whitman College, Walla Walla (Wash.).

1926Obtained MA, University of Oregon, Eugene (Or.).

1928 – 1929Assistant Physicist, Radio Division, National Bureau of Standards.

1929Obtained PhD in Physics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (Minn.).

1929 – 1967Research Physicist, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill (N.J.).

1941 – 1943Physicist, Division of War Research, Columbia University.

1952Visiting Lecturer, Harvard University.

1952Awarded Stuart Ballantine Medal, Franklin Institute.

1956Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics with John Bardeen and William Shockley "for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect".

1957 – 1969Chair, Commission on Semiconductors, International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

1959Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1960 – 1966Member, Naval Research Advisory Committee, United States Navy.

1962 – 1965Member, Defense Science Board, United States Department of Defense.

1966 – 1968Member, Advisory Board, Naval Ordnance Test Station, United States Navy.

1967 – 1972Visiting Professor of Physics, Whitman College, Walla Walla (Wash.).

1968 – 1974Consultant, Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Battelle Memorial Institute.

October 13, 1987Death, Summit (N.J.).

Occupation

Solid state physicist.

Places

Birth

Xiamen (Xiamen Shi, China)

Undergraduate Education

Walla Walla (Wash.)

Graduate Education

Eugene (Or.)

Minneapolis (Minn.)

Employment

Murray Hill (N.J.)

Walla Walla (Wash.)

Death

Summit (N.J.)

Subjects

Copper oxide rectifiers.

Germanium.

Oscillators, Electric.

Piezoelectricity.

Semiconductors.

Solid state physics.

Statistical mechanics.

Transistors.

Relationships

People

Family

Brattain, Keren Gilmore

Wife.

Brattain, R. Robert

Brother.

Brattain, William Gilmore

Son.

Advisors & Collaborators

Bardeen, John

Shared the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics along with William Shockley for their research on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect and both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Shockley, William, 1910-1989

Shared the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics along with John Bardeen for their research on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect and both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Tate, John T. (John Torrence), 1889-1950

Advised by Tate at the University of Minnesota.

Colleagues

Ahlers, G. (Günter)

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Anderson, P. W. (Philip W.), 1923-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Appelbaum, J. A. (Joel A.)

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Ashkin, Arthur, 1922-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Aspnes, D. E.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Bode, Hendrik W. (Hendrik Wade), 1905-1982

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Boyle, Willard S., 1924-2011

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Briggs, Lyman J. (Lyman James), 1874-1963

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Brinkman, William F. (William Frank), 1938-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Buchsbaum, Solomon J.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Buckley, Oliver Ellsworth, 1887-1959

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Chynoweth, A. G.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Clogston, Albert McCavour

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Coblentz, William W. (William Weber), 1873-1962

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Cohen, Marvin L.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Conwell, Esther M. (Esther Marley), 1922-2014

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Cutler, Cassius Chapin

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Darlington, Sidney, 1906-1997

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

David, Edward E.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Davisson, Clinton Joseph, 1881-1958

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Dryden, Hugh L. (Hugh Latimer), 1898-1965

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Feher, George, 1924-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Fisk, James B. (James Brown), 1910-1981

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Fletcher, Harvey, 1884-1981

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Fleury, Paul A.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Fulton, Theodore Alan

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Galt, John Kirtland, 1920-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Geballe, Theodore H.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Gossard, A. C.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Hagstrum, Homer D.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Halperin, Bertrand I.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Hamann, Donald, 1939-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Herring, William Conyers, 1914-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Hohenberg, Pierre C.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Hopfield, John J.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Ives, Herbert Eugene, 1882-1953

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Javan, Ali, 1926-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Jewett, Frank B. (Frank Baldwin), 1879-1949

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Kelly, Mervin Joe

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Kittel, Charles

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Kompfner, Rudolf, 1909-1977

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Kraichnan, Robert H., 1928-2008

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Kusch, Polykarp, 1911-1993

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Lander, James J., 1914-1996

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Lax, Melvin J.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Libchaber, Albert J.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Matthias, Bernd T., 1918-1980

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

McMillan, William L.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Patel, C. Kumar N.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Pearson, Gerald L. (Gerald Leondus)

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Penzias, Arno A.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Pfann, William G.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Phillips, J. C.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Raney, William P.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Rice, Thomas Maurice, 1939-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Richards, Paul L. (Paul Linford)

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Rowell, John Martin, 1935-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Sarachik, Myriam P.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Schawlow, Arthur L., 1921-1999

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Smith, George E., 1930-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Stillinger, F. H.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Suhl, Harry

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Thomas, D. G. (David Gilbert), 1928-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Townes, Charles H.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Wilson, Robert Woodrow, 1936-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Yariv, Amnon

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Additional

Bleakney, Walker, 1901-1992

Bray, Ralph, 1921-

Brillouin, Léon, 1889-1969

Clarke, Edward N.

Gibney, Robert Bernard, 1911-

Hoddeson, Lillian

Holden, Alan

Holonyak, Nick, 1928-

Kelly, Katherine Milsted

Millman, S. (Sidney), 1904-2006

Morgan, Stanley Owen, 1900-

Murphy, Edward Joseph, 1898-

Nix, Foster Cary, 1905-

Ohl, Russell S.

Riordan, Michael, 1946-

Sears, Raymond W.

Seitz, Frederick, 1911-2008

Van Vleck, J. H. (John Hasbrouck), 1899-1980

White, Addison Hughson, 1909-

Wooldridge, Dean E.

Institutions

Major Positions

Bell Telephone Laboratories

Research Physicist.

Columbia University. Department of Physics

Physicist, Division of War Research.

Harvard University. Department of Physics

Visiting Lecturer.

United States. National Bureau of Standards

Assistant Physicist, Radio Division.

Whitman College

Obtained BS in Physics in 1924 and Visiting Professor of Physics.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Academy of Arts and Sciences

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Physical Society

Franklin Institute (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Received 1952 Stuart Ballantine Medal.

International Union of Pure and Applied Physics

Chair, Commission on Semiconductors.

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Naval Ordnance Test Station (Inyokern, Calif.)

Member, Advisory Board.

Pacific Northwest Laboratory

Consultant, Battelle Memorial Institute.

United States. Defense Science Board

Member.

United States. Naval Research Advisory Committee

Member.

University of Minnesota. Department of Physics and Astronomy

Obtained PhD in Physics in 1929.

University of Oregon. Department of Physics

Obtained MA in 1926.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Bell Telephone Laboratories the physics of transistors and semiconductors, 1953.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Circular letters with Walker Bleakney, Vladimir Rojansky, and Everly J. Workman; letter from J. B. Fisk concerning news of fission reaching U. S.; letters regarding the 1924 Harvard Engineering School Prize examination; and selected papers, 1924-1974.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

How the transistor was named [sound recording]

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Interview with the transistor's inventors [motion picture] / produced by Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Nobel laureates on scientific research project : oral history, 1964.

Oral History Research Office

Columbia University

Box 20, Room 801 Butler Library, New York, NY 10027, USA

Oral history interview with Walter H. Brattain, 1964 January and 28 May 1974.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Reminiscences of Professor Benjamin Harrison Brown, plus impromptu speeches given shortly after the announcement of the Nobel Prize to Walter Brattain and others [sound recording], 1965 and 1956.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Reminiscences of Walter Houser Brattain : oral history, 1964.

Oral History Research Office

Columbia University

Box 20, Room 801 Butler Library, New York, NY 10027, USA

The invention of the transistor [sound recording] edited by Richard A. Rikoski.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

The saga of an expedition to Stockholm, Sweden, December 1956, 1956.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Walker Bleakney Retirement Symposium [sound recording], 1969 May 2.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Walter Brattain autobiography, 1959.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Walter Brattain papers.

Penrose Memorial Library

Whitman College

345 Boyer Street. Walla Walla, WA, USA

Walter H. Brattain thesis, 1926.

Library

University of Oregon

Eugene, OR 97403, USA

Subject

A review of scientific career, 1967.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

AT&T Archives and History Center records, 1869- present.

AT&T Archives and History Center

AT&T

4949 Von Scheele, San Antonio, Texas, 78229, USA

Edward J. Murphy recollections and anecdotes, 1983.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

History of physics audio-visual collection, circa 1918-1996, 1960-1988 (bulk)

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

John Bardeen papers, 1910-1991.

University Archives

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1408 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Lillian Hoddeson addition to papers, 1913-2006.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Lillian Hoddeson papers, 1904-2001.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview Addison Hughson White, 1976 September 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Alan Holden, 1974 July 30 and 1976 June 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Dean E. Wooldridge, 1976 August 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Edward N. Clarke, 2010 September 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Foster Cary Nix, 1975 June 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Frederick Seitz, 1981 January 26, 27, March 24 and 1982 March 16.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Gerald Leondus Pearson, 1976 August 23 and 8 April 1980.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with John Bardeen, 1980 February 13.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Katharine Milsted Kelly, 1976 July 2

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Nick Holonyak Jr., 1993 June 22.

IEEE History Center

Rutgers University

39 Union Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA

Oral history interview with Ralph Bray, 1982 May 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Raymond W. Sears, 1975 July 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert Gibney 11 January 1978.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Russell S. Ohl, 1976 August 19 and 20.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Sidney Millman, 1974 August 2, September 13 and 1975 August 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Stanley Owen Morgan, 1975 July 3.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with William Shockley, 1974 September 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Transistorized! [videorecording] / co-production of ScienCentral and Twin Cities Public Television; producer, Gino Del Guercio; executive producer and narrator, Ira Flatow, 1998.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Transistorized! voice clips [sound recording], 1964-1977.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Subject

Crystal Fire: The Invention of the Transistor and the Birth of the Information Age

Walter H. Brattain Physics Today obituary.

Walter H. Brattain, Nobel Prize Biography.

Walter Houser Brattain: 1902-1987, Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences