Research Nugget #1

Link 1:

  • Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). The 1950s . Retrieved July 3, 2014 from
  • In this article, there is a summation of how the 1950s affected the population. There are analysis’ of diplomacy, politics, economy, society, culture, and most importantly, technology and science.  The most important topic is technology and science as it made the future more innovative.
  • Nugget: “We take computers so much for granted today that it’s hard even to imagine a time when they didn’t exist. The closest thing to a computer in 1950 was the Electrical Numerical Integrator And Calculator or ENIAC. Constructed out of 18,000 vacuum tubes and consuming about 180,000 watts of electrical power, the ENIAC was capable of multiplying numbers rapidly… and not much more.” 

Checking out the statistics of this computer, it was very slow. I can’t believe that a computer use to be a ginormous brick that was capable of practically nothing. Today when we use computers, we play games, surf the internet, send emails, develop applications, and much more. With many programming languages out there today, there was only one at the time of the creation of a computer.

  • Nugget: “Though television had been invented in the 1930s, few Americans had watched a TV show even into the late 1940s. But by the end of the Fifties, TVs were present in 90% of homes and watching television was the favorite leisure activity of nearly half the population.”

Before the creation of the television, families would gather around in the living room around a massive radio. This radio to present sitcoms, shows over the air, and give news to the public. The television revolutionized technology and changed the media forever. Now the public could actually see what was going on, instead of hearing it like they previously could.

Link 2:

  • Oxford, T. (2009, August 5). 5 Technologies to thank the 1950s For . . Retrieved July 1, 2014, from
  • The middle of the 20th century was one of the most technologically advanced and innovative era. This time period defined how technologically would change over the years. Microchips and stored computers were two innovative technological advancements of the time that lead to inventions such as the smart phones, laptops, and desktops that today are slowly growing out.
  • Nugget: “Looking a lot like the slightly dishevelled uncle that gets drunk at family parties, the first microchip bears little resemblance to its modern equivalent. Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments and Robert Noyce of the Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation (he also co-founded Intel) are credited as being co-founders of the first integrated circuit, in spite of the fact that their creations were six months apart.

    Where Jack Kilby managed to develop the first working model in 1958, Robert Noyce’s version had some necessary improvements – such as the use of silicon instead of germanium and interconnecting the components efficiently. The first commercially viable microchips were released by the Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation in 1961 and were about the size of your baby finger.

    They consisted of one transistor, three resistors and one capacitor, a far cry from the tiny chip of today that can hold 125 million transistors.”

The microchip is a tiny wafer of semiconducting material used to make an integrated circuit. A microchip is a semiconductor integrated circuit. The function depends on what it is designed to do. It could be a micro processor, memory chip, or digital tuner. It could be used in your wristwatch, microwave oven, cell phone, garage door opener, the space shuttle, or almost anything. When it was first created, it was used for small purposes. Today, they’re implanted in animals, computers, calculators, laptops, and even more. 

  • Nugget: While these weren’t very good, they did kick-start development. It was Kapany who coined the term fibre optics in 1956 but it was van Heel who discovered that, by covering the bare fibre/glass/plastic with a transparent cladding, contamination and crosstalk were greatly reduced.

    Then, in the late 1950s, Lawrence Curtiss improved on this even further by introducing glass clad fibres. The invention of the laser in 1960 heralded steady advancement in fibre optic communications, with the semiconductor laser, developed in 1962, still being the most widely used today.

Everyone today knows about Verizon Fiber Optics, a high speed network for television, internet, and phone services. The first design for Fiber Optics was a failure, as it was very slow and a problem, as it was first developed in the 1840s. After a hundred years, there was a massive development. Imaging bundles were just a start, and now today there’s more to just imaging. Link 3:

  • Oxford, T. (2009, November 19). 6 technologies to thank the 1960s for. TechRadar. Retrieved July 2, 2014, from
  • The 1960s built upon the decade before. The first video game console, the mouse for a computer, light emitting diodes, and more. As the decades go on, the technology significantly increases as well. The implentation of UNIX definitely send a huge message across the technological world.
  • Nugget: “In 1969 a group of employees from AT&T at Bell Labs created one of the most popular and powerful operating systems of the age, UNIX. Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Douglas Mcllroy and Joe Ossana were among the crew who sat down to develop UNIX on the PDP-7. The name was derived from MULTICS, a project run in conjunction with several large companies including Bell Labs that failed to deliver on expectations.”

Unix is a multitaskingmultiuser computer operating system that exists in many variants. The OS provides a set of simple tools that each perform a limited, well-defined function, with a unified filesystem as the main method of communication. For programmers, this was a huge advancement because UNIX exploded across computers and many programmers took advantage and made many programs to innovate newer languages. 

  • Nugget: “While not technically the man who invented RAM, Robert Dennard was the man who redesigned and modified it to create Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM). His insights into how RAM could function more efficiently over a smaller space mean that computers got more memory for less cost and, frankly, took up less space.” 

Random Access Memory (RAM) is a type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly; that is any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes. RAM is the most common type of memory found in computers and other devices, such as printers. There are two kinds of RAM: Dynamic Random Access Memory, and Static Random Access Memory. A type of physical memory used in most personal computers. The term dynamic indicates that the memory must be constantly refreshed, or reenergized or it will lose its contents. SRAM is a type of memory that is faster and more reliable than the more common DRAM. The term statis is derived from the fact that it doesn’t need to be refreshed like a dynamic RAM.

Synthesis: All of these nuggets all relate to each other, and these articles as well. Technology doesn’t just refer to computers or any kind of machines. Technology was the invention of the wheel, the axel, the discovery of an atom. But these articles all show a timeline of how such small inventions led to massive explorations in the field. One small chip located in a spaceshuttle requires a lot of programming, which started with UNIX. All of these innovations are connected, and are constantly improving today.

One thought on “Research Nugget #1”

  1. Hey Virinchi,

    You chose three interesting sources. I think these will make good background information for your project, although from here on out you might want to look for sources specifically related to NASA.

    A couple things to consider before completing the next round of research: First, try to expand your summary of the argument. Here you are telling us the TOPIC of the source, but not the argument. You wrote, “In this article, there is a summation of how the 1950s affected the population. There are analysis’ of diplomacy, politics, economy, society, culture, and most importantly, technology and science. The most important topic is technology and science as it made the future more innovative.” Instead, summarize the author’s claim and how he/she went about supporting that claim, meaning what are his/her reasons for believing that claim to be true?

    Second, you need to use at least one peer reviewed /scholarly source for each of the research nugget assignments.

    Third, in many ways, the synthesis is the most important part of these assignments. Try to be much more specific in the way you articulate the overlap and similarities in the sources. You wrote, “But these articles all show a timeline of how such small inventions led to massive explorations in the field.” If that is one important similarity, then you need to explain it more. What does each source have to say about this? AND what are the other commonalities between the sources? I’m very happy to chat with you about synthesis (or anything else) if you would like some extra assistance:)

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