Friday, 22 October 2010

100th object reminds us of extraordinary amount the semiconductor transistor has done for 21st century life

Anne Wheldon, Senior Advisor for the Ashden Awards, writes

Neil MacGregor couldn’t have made a better choice for his 100th object than the solar panel with lamp and charger, not just for what it does, but for what it stands for.

The solar cell is the younger sister of the semiconductor transistor, the key invention that started the semiconductor industry. For me, the solar panel stands for all the science and technology which has gone into the semiconductor industry, providing the computers, mobile phones, communications and entertainment that are 21st century life.

Already solar cells are powering crucial parts of the semiconductor world, from communications satellites to lamps and chargers. And now there are real signs that solar will move from niche to bulk power supply.

pic: John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1956 for their invention of the semiconductor transistor.

See also 100th Object going "to change the way we think", After today's 99th object, one more to go, From 100th Object to 100s of solar projects, What the Twitterverse thinks of 100th Object, 100th Object: "a story worthy of this generation", Solar-powered lamp revealed as 100th Object, Tomorrow’s vote on 100th object keeps solar in the news, Solar lamp an icon in social entrepreneurship and Will solar powered lamp be 100th object?

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