If PHYSICS TODAY had been launched just one year earlier—in 1947 rather than 1948—it might have begun life by soliciting a number of articles to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the electron by J. J. Thomson. That 1897 event could surely have qualified as the start of the electronics discipline and the industry that followed. It was the new understanding of the properties of the electron that created the field of electronics and that, combined with our developing capability in the electrical, magnetic and mechanical arts, made possible a rich array of new products and services.

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