Gerald B. Herzog

Oral History – Jerry Herzog


Oral History – Jerry Herzog



Working with Complementary Symmetry.


At first we had no NPN transistors, as only PNP transistors were being made by Charlie Mueller.  However, we managed to obtain some NPN samples from Bell Labs and worked on circuits using both types of transistors. George wanted to call the combination circuits as enantiomorphic circuits, a crystallographer’s term meaning mirror images or related to one another as the left hand glove to a right hand glove.  However, Bob and I said, “No Way!”.  It was too long a word, we couldn’t spell it and could hardly pronounce it.  We finally settled on complementary symmetry instead, and that is what the circuit has become known as ever since. 


High Speed Transistors and Tunnel Diodes.


After the demonstration of the black and white TV set (see page 6 of this Oral History for a detailed discussion of the first transistor TV), I did not get back to working with transistors or semiconductor devices until sometime in 1958 when RCA Laboratories got a contract from a government agency to try to develop concepts for building a 1000 MHz computer.





Go To Herzog Oral History, Page 4










The above photo is a section of the patent filed by George Sziklai in 1952, which illustrates some of the work done by George, Bob Lohman and Jerry Herzog at RCA Labs in 1952.  George Sziklai, the inventor of the circuit and manager of the group, wanted to name this type of circuit “enantiomorphic”, a somewhat challenging word based on the Greek  word “enantios”, which means opposite.  Jerry and Bob persuaded George not to use this terminology,  a decision which probably has saved many an engineer from stumbling through the pronunciation. The circuit was named “Complementary Symmetry” and has become one of the most ubiquitous and widely used transistor circuits since its invention over 50 years ago. 









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