By J. Shurkin
This is the 1st biography of William Shockley, founder of Silicon Valley - essentially the most major and reviled scientists of the twentieth century. Drawing upon precise entry to the non-public Shockley files, veteran expertise historian and journalist Joel Shurkin offers an unflinching account of ways such promise resulted in such ignominy.
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The neighborhood was an unattractive commercial district just off the Village. That meant cheap rent; the apartment cost $60 a month, which they could afford with some effort. Additionally, it was within walking distance of Shockley's new office, on the 12th floor of the Graybar~Vanick Building at 463 West Street. Jean was enormously pleased. May grumbled that the Village was dirty and they ought to find someplace better. Their apartment, Jean admitted, was on the ground floor, which made it more susceptible to city grime, but: 'We moved six times in our three years in Cambridge.
Small, slim, about five-three, Jean was a pleasant-looking woman with blue eyes and a round face with high cheekbones, which made her look slightly exotic when she was young. She wore her brown hair short when it was stylish in the 20s, but let it grow long when the fashion allowed, eventually braiding it in the back. 14 Jean was educated and intelligent, perhaps better read than Shockley, who had little time for anything other than physics. ' 'Everyone loved Jean,' said Fred Seitz. 1 Not everyone.
Assuming he had pressed the wrong button, he tried again. Again, the elevator went to a wrong floor. He saw a student and asked the student to push the correct button and the car went to yet another floor, wrong for the third time. Shaking his head, Compton got out and walked. The previous night, Shockley and Fisk had broken into the building, unscrewed the panel covering the electric controls and rewired the ele~ vator. Whether Compton was the target or just a lucky catch will never be known. One result of Shockley's teaching was that for almost a decade a sub~ stantial number of the experiments used in the freshman physics lab were his design.