American physicists Edward Purcell and Felix Bloch independently discover nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), the selective absorption of electromagnetic radiation by the nuclei of certain atoms exposed to a strong, static magnetic field.
A team of physicists employed at the Bell Telephone Laboratories invent the transistor, an electronic device composed of a semiconductor and at least three electrodes that is chiefly used for amplification or switching. The transistor subsequently begins to replace vacuum tubes in electronics.
American physicists Richard Feynman and Julian Schwinger independently formulate a theory of quantum electrodynamics that merges quantum mechanics with Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity. At approximately the same time, the equivalent theory of Japanese physicist Tomonaga Shin'ichiro, which was published several years earlier in Japan, gains international attention.
Jack Kilby, an electrical engineer working at Texas Instruments, and Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor independently invent the integrated circuit, a device consisting of multiple electronic components and their interconnections etched or imprinted on a thin substrate.
At Bell Laboratories Calvin Fuller, Daryl Chapin and Gerald Pearson invent the first solar battery, which converted about 6 percent of sunlight into electricity and was used to power a radio transmitter during its first public demonstration.
American physicists John Bardeen, Leon Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer develop a successful, far-reaching theory explaining why some materials at extremely low temperatures conduct electricity without resistance, the BCS theory of superconductivity.