Work that broke ground for today's information superhighway also paved the way to a Nobel prize.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics to three scientists and inventors whose work "laid the foundation of modern information technology, IT, particularly through their invention of rapid transistors, laser diodes, and integrated circuits."
The academy bestowed one-half of the Nobel award upon Jack St. Clair Kilby, an electrical engineer retired from Texas Instruments in Dallas. It recognized his part in the invention and development of the integrated circuit. Kilby joined Texas Instruments in 1958 and that same year conceived of and built the first electronic circuit that contained all of its components on a single piece of semiconducting material.
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