Near Twins and Black Sheep

Chapter 2- Brooklyn Presnell


In chapter two of "The Disapearing Spoon" by Sam Kean; he talks about three elements. Carbon, Silicon, and Germanium. These are all important elements in this chapter becuase they are all used in different ways that has a great impact on different objects and even to our bodies. He sees men turn silicon into a semi-conductor that they called a transistor, two men turn germanium into the first ever amplifier and sees someone use carbon for resistors.

To explain the title of this chapter an electrical engineer and physicist, William Shockley, who had tried to make a small silicon amplifier saw that John Bardeen and Walter Brattain had successfully made one. Shockley tries to steal credit for their invention which failed because he was in Paris and couldn't make the claim. Shockley thought that since poor people could not make good looking and smart babies decided to start donating to the "Genius sperm bank" and said that these types of people should be paid to get sterilized and stop making the human race dumb.

Element 1- Germanium (Ge)

Germanium is number 32 on the periodic table and is in period 4 group 14. The electron configuration of germanium is 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 3d^10 4s^2 4p^2. In Chapter 2, germanium was used for the worlds first solid-state amplifier built by John Bardeen and Walter Brattain.

Element 2-Silicon(Si)

Silicon is element 14 and located in period 3 group 14. The configuration of silicon is 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^2. Silicon was essential to this chapter because this is what was used to make a silicon semi-conductor that sent William Shockley into a twist. Unlike carbon dioxine, silicon dioxine is a liquid not a gas and doesn't become a gas till 4000 degrees fahrenhiet. Silicon has been found in sea creatures such as sea urchins and radiolaria.

In 1945 the modern semi-conductor industry started.

Element 3-Carbon(C)

Carbon is element six and is in period 2 group 14. Carbon's electron configuration is 1s^2 2s^2 2p^4. Carbon is directly related to its capability to form life. Silicon and Carbon are very similar and share that capability. Carbon is the backbone of amnio acids. Amnio acids are organic compounds made of carboxyl. Because Carbon is where its at on the periodic table and has a full octet it causes the amnio acids to bunch together tightly.

Other information to know

After John Bardeen left the industry a man named Jack Kilby took his place. Kilby was trained in electrical enginereering and landed a job in Texas Instruments (TI). In July of 1958, Kilby was left alone where he sat and created a carbon resistor, there was also silicon resistors which he called the "Intrograted circut". For Kilbys prototype he turned to germanium since he didn't trust the purity of silicon.