Eleven electronic parts you can’t find

Electrical components are parts that are capable of controlling and/or altering currents or voltages. They can do so without non-electrical means, including mechanical means. Electrical components are formed from different conductive materials, such as aluminum, copper and silver. Electrical components can come as switches, assemblies, connectors, terminals and more.

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The Transistor was Invented in 1948 at Bell Telephone Laboratories

The invention of the transistor was an unprecedented development in the electronics industry. It marked the beginning of the current age in the electronics sector. After the transistor's invention, advances in technology became more frequent, the most notable of which was computer technology. The three physicists who invented the transistor; William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain were awarded with the Nobel Prize. Considering the inventions that the transistor paved the way for, one could argue that it was the most important invention of the twentieth century.

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The history of the microwave

The microwave oven was invented in 1945 by an engineer called Percy Spencer. He was researching military uses for radar technology and an accidental side effect of this was the invention of the microwave oven. After standing in front of a magnetron, Spencer noticed that the chocolate bar in his pocket had melted. To test this further he then held a bag of corn kernels near the magnetron and watched as they exploded into popcorn. Spencer found that microwaves, such as those emitted from his radar equipment, caused the water molecules in food to vibrate and heat up, which caused the food to cook. Recognising the potential of this, Spencer used the magnetron to create the first microwave ovens, which arrived in Britain in 1959.

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SELF-GUIDED CARS

It’s a sophisticated new take on a fifty-year-old concern. The Science Museum has a 1960 Citroen DS19 car which was modified by the Road Research Laboratory (RRL – now Transport Research Laboratory) to be automatically controlled. You’ll be able to see it, along with lots of other cool stuff, in our Wroughton storage facility during the Festival of Innovation on 12 and 13 September.

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Model of Telephone Invented by Alexander Graham Bell

This photograph shows a model of the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell. The telephone revolutionized long-distance communication by allowing two people to speak directly to each other using their own voices instead of through code as with a telegraph.