Extended Audio Sample

Download Crystal Fire: The Birth of the Information Age Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Crystal Fire: The Birth of the Information Age Audiobook, by Michael Riordan Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (53 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Riordan, Lillian Hoddeson Narrator: Dennis McKee Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2018 ISBN: 9781538590652
Regular Price: $19.95 Add to Cart
— or —
BEST PRICE!
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

On December 16, 1947, two physicists at Bell Laboratories, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain, jabbed two electrodes into a sliver of germanium half an inch long. The electrical power coming out of that piece of germanium was 100 times stronger than what went in. In that moment, the transistor was invented and the information age began.

Crystal Fire recounts the story of the transistor team at Bell Labs, led by William Shockley, who shared the Nobel Prize with Bardeen and Brattain. While his colleagues went on to other research, Shockley grew increasingly obsessed with the new gadget. He went on to form the first semiconductor company in what would become Silicon Valley.

Above all, Crystal Fire is a tale of the human factors in technology: the pride and jealousies coupled with scientific and economic aspirations that led to the creation of modern microelectronics and ignited the greatest technological explosion in history.

Download and start listening now!

BK_BLAK_000487

Quotes & Awards

  • “Without the invention of the transistor, I’m quite sure that the PC would not exist as we know it today.”

    Bill Gates

     

  •  “Thoroughly accessible to lay readers as well as the techno-savvy…A fine book.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A gripping read and a crash course in the dizzying complexity of information-age invention.”

    Amazon.com review

  • “This book of ‘history in the making’ fascinates.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Unojoe2 | 5/26/2013

    " should be required reading for any modern technology student. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 BAKU | 3/13/2013

    " The first third of this is all quantum physics ( finally made the connection that it's the Pauli principle that's keeping atoms from collasping, that's why it was neccessary ) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie | 3/1/2013

    " Better than 3 stars, but dies at the end if I recall. Serious semiconductor nerds find it super readable and it's nice to know where everything came from, if you like the history of science. Otherwise, skip it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Drew Johnson | 11/27/2011

    " Well written. Concise description of the invention and application of the transistor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric Ford | 7/16/2011

    " EXCELLENT book about the human story behind the invention of the transistor. Vivid technical details. It describes field-effect transistors in a way that is actually moving. How many authors can do that?! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cavolonero | 4/28/2011

    " The first third of this is all quantum physics ( finally made the connection that it's the Pauli principle that's keeping atoms from collasping, that's why it was neccessary ) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie | 10/25/2010

    " Better than 3 stars, but dies at the end if I recall. Serious semiconductor nerds find it super readable and it's nice to know where everything came from, if you like the history of science. Otherwise, skip it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Unojoe2 | 11/26/2009

    " should be required reading for any modern technology student. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Drew | 9/26/2009

    " Well written. Concise description of the invention and application of the transistor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 12/27/2007

    " EXCELLENT book about the human story behind the invention of the transistor. Vivid technical details. It describes field-effect transistors in a way that is actually moving. How many authors can do that?! "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Michael Riordan has authored, coauthored, and edited a number of scientific books, including Crystal Fire and The Hunting of the Quark, which won the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award. In 2002, he received the Andrew Gemant Award of the American Institute of Physics for his contributions to the understanding of physics and its relationship to the wider culture. He lives in Santa Cruz, California.

About the Narrator

Dennis McKee is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.