50, 100 and 150 Years Ago; August 2001; Scientific American Magazine; by Staff Editor; 1 Page(s)
TRANSISTOR-"Even at the present very early stage of transistor development it seems certain that transistors will replace vacuum tubes in almost every application. What results can we expect from this major revolution in the techniques and capabilities of electronics? Since the revolution is just beginning, we can only speculate. A large part of the improvement in the performance of the device is due to the development of a new design called the 'junction transistor.' The early units consisted of a germanium crystal touched by two closely spaced fine wires-'cat's whiskers.' In the junction transistor this point-contact arrangement has been replaced by a large-area contact. It therefore operates more efficiently and consumes far less power.-Louis N. Ridenour."
THE EYE AND THE BRAIN-"Adelbert Ames, Jr., of the Institute for Associated Research in Hanover, N.H., has designed some new ways of studying visual perception. His theory suggests that the world each of us knows is a world created in large measure from our experience in dealing with the environment. In our illustration [right], figures are distorted when they are placed in a specially constructed room. The woman at left appears much smaller because the mind 'bets' that the opposite surfaces of the room are parallel."