Trivial Electronics: How Much Do You Know?

June 1, 2009
On May 13, 2009, the IEEE celebrated more than a century of innovation and ingenuity as it officially turned 125 years old. To include the readers of

On May 13, 2009, the IEEE celebrated more than a century of innovation and ingenuity as it officially turned 125 years old. To include the readers of Power Electronics Technology in that celebration, and just to make science, engineering, and technology fun, they sent in the following trivia questions for you to ponder over. Answers are at the end of the page.

  1. In what year did the first home computer games appear?

    A. 1958

    B. 1963

    C. 1974

    D. 1980

  2. How small is the world's smallest radio?

    A. The size of a marble

    B. The size of a golf ball

    C. The size of a tennis ball

  3. The first model of this groundbreaking home entertainment device was announced on September 9, 1976, by a team of engineers headed by Shizuo Takano and Yuma Shiraishi.

    A. Rear-Projection Television

    B. VHS Format

    C. High-Definition

    D. Film Projector

  4. During which time period did Benjamin Franklin live and work in London popularizing the study of electricity, performing experiments, and serving as an advisor on lightning conductors?

    A. 1732-1756

    B. 1757-1775

    C. 1776-1782

  5. The creation in 1962 of the Centre Electronique Horloger of Neuchâtel in Switzerland enabled production of the first prototypes of which of the following items?

    A. Quartz Electronic Wristwatch

    B. Self-Starting Gas-Powered Engine

  6. Early developments of this extremely popular device began as early as 1901 with Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres-Quevedo.

    A. Electronic Calculator

    B. Microwave Oven

    C. Remote Control

  7. How fast is the speed of light?

    A. 100,000 km/sec

    B. 200,000 km/sec

    C. 300,000 km/sec

  8. In 1928 the Detroit Police Department was the first to prove the practicality of this pioneering advancement, which led to its adoption throughout the country?

    A. One-Way Radio Communication

    B. Two-Way Radio Communication

    C. Grid Tracking

  9. What type of plants did Mendel use for his genetic experiments?

    A. Corn plants

    B. Bean plants

    C. Pea plants

  10. Who made the first electric light bulb?

    A. Thomas Edison

    B. Humphry Davy

    C. Joseph Swan

    Questions 1 - 10 and their answers were provided by the IEEE. I added the next bunch. If you disagree with my answers, let me know. There have been many developments and court cases to determine who was first, so the answers could be controversial.

  11. Where was the first diffusion transistor developed?

    A. Bell Labs

    B. Stanford University

    C. RCA's Sarnoff Labs

  12. What company produced the first commercial junction transistor?

    A. RCA

    B. Raytheon

    C. General Electric

  13. What company developed the planar transistor?

    D. RCA

    E. Fairchild

    F. General Electric

  14. What company produced the first commercial power MOSFETs?

    A. Siliconix

    B. International Rectifier

    C. Texas Instruments

  15. What company produced the first integrated circuits?

    A. American Microsystems

    B. Texas Instruments

    C. Intel

  16. What company produced the first monolithic operational amplifiers?

    A. Maxim

    B. National Semiconductor

    C. Linear Technology

1: 1974. 2: The size of a marble. 3: VHS Format. 4: 1757-1775 5: Quartz Electronic Wristwatch. 6: Remote Control. 7: 300,000 km/sec. 8: One-Way Radio Communication. 9: Pea Plants. 10: Humphry Davy. 11. Bell Labs (1954). 12: Raytheon (CK722 - 1952). 13: Fairchild (1959). 14: Siliconix. 15: Texas Instruments. 16: National Semiconductor.

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