Technology: Microscopic Microphone

A microphone as small as a pinhead? It is on its way. A Raytheon Co. scientist has discovered that transistors, which are far smaller than any ordinary microphones, have areas that can detect fantastically faint mechanical forces and translate them into sizable changes of voltage —just as a microphone does.

The discovery was made by Dr. Wilhelm Rindner while he was poking under a microscope with a delicate probe, studying surface defects on a tiny transistor. The transistor was hooked up to a voltmeter, and Dr. Rindner soon noticed something peculiar: even his...

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