Electronics is the science that controls the electrical energy, wherein the electrons have a fundamental role. Electronics deals with the electrical circuits that involve active electrical components that are associated with passive elements like circuits. The science of electronics is considered to be a branch of physics and electrical engineering.
It has been the greatest discovery, to utilize electrons to control machines and process information. The use of electronics has been everywhere, it is utilized to store your money, to monitor your heartbeat, to transmit the sound of your voice to another people’s phone, and it can guide planes and cars. These cannot be possible without the electrons within the atoms that carry around electrical energy to the circuits.
The circuits inside the electronic equipment are built with components that do different jobs and they are linked together by cables or printed metal connections.
Electrical was discovered earlier than electronics. Now, let us take a peek at how electronics evolved over time.
In 1874, George Johnstone Stoney, an Irish scientist proposed that electricity is built with tiny electrical charges.
In 1875, George Carey, an American scientist built a photoelectric cell that can produce an electricity when a light shines on.
In 1883, Thomas Edison, another American inventor discovered thermionic emission, wherein the electrons are given off by a heated filament.
In 1887, Heinrich Hertz, a German physicist discovered an in-depth understanding of the photoelectric effect. He found out that there is a connection between the light and electricity.
In 1894, the word ‘electron’ was coined by George Johnstone Stoney.
In 1897, J.J. Thomson, a British physicist proved that cathode rays are a negatively charged particle, that was renamed as electrons.
In 1904, John Ambrose Fleming, an English scientist discovered the Fleming valve, later called diode, and it became an indispensable component in radios.
In 1906, Lee De Forest, improved the valve made by John Fleming, the triode or audion. It has greatly improved the designs of radios. Lee De Forest was then known as the father of modern radio.
In 1947, John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley developed the transistor at Bell Laboratories. It revolutionized electronics and digital computers.
In 1958, Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments who worked independently, and Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor developed the integrated circuits.
In 1971, Marcian Edward Hoff and Federico Faggin managed to squeeze all the key components of a computer in a single chip. It produced the world’s first general-purpose microprocessor.
In 1987, Theodore Fulton and Gerald Dolan of Bell Laboratories developed the first single-electron transistor.
In 2008, the Hewlett-Packard researcher Stanley Williams built the first working memristor, a new kind of magnetic circuit component that worked like a resistor with a memory.
Come to think of something that does not involve electronics, who would have thought that electrons, the tiniest of all things, can have a large impact on the people’s lives? One of the areas that have great benefit with electronics is the entertainment. Moreover, electronics save our lives, hospitals are packed with electronic devices that can help maintain and monitor lives, and cars with airbags in the steering wheel that can be triggered by electronic circuits give us an extra protection.