Halls of Ivy,HallsofIvy said:I think the importance of transistors to pure science is that they were the first engineering application of quantum mechanics. It's also an interesting insight into how science and engineering work. The first radios used crystals rather than tubes- but crystals were pretty much an engineers "make do". Nobody knew enough theory about them to improve them much so tubes were developed instead. Then along came quantum theory and transistors- which are really glorified (and better understood) crystals.