Walter Houser Brattain

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Walter Houser Brattain
Walter Houser Brattain (1902-1987)
Born (1902-02-10)February 10, 1902
Xiamen, China
Died October 13, 1987(1987-10-13) (aged 85)
Seattle, Washington, US
Nationality American
Fields Physics, Electronic engineering
Institutions Whitman College
Bell Laboratories
Alma mater Whitman College
University of Oregon
University of Minnesota
Doctoral advisor John Torrence Tate, Sr.
Known for Transistor
Notable awards Stuart Ballantine Medal (1952)
Nobel Prize in Physics (1956)

Walter Houser Brattain (February 10, 1902 – October 13, 1987) was an American physicist at Bell Labs who, along with John Bardeen and William Shockley, invented the transistor.[1] They shared the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention. He devoted much of his life to research on surface states.

Early life and education[edit]

Walter Houser Brattain was born to American parents Ross R. Brattain and Ottilie Houser on 10 February 1902, in Xiamen, China. His father was a teacher there.[2]

John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain at Bell Labs, 1948.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington in 1924, a master's degree from the University of Oregon in Eugene, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Personal life[edit]

Brattain was a resident of Summit, New Jersey.[3] He moved to Seattle, Washington, in the 1970s where he lived until his death.


  1. ^ "Walter H. Brattain". IEEE Global History Network. IEEE. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Walter H. Brattain : The Nobel Prize in Physics 1956, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Accessed February 18, 2011.

External links[edit]