In this excerpt from Arthur Bienenstock’s introduction to Stanford Ovshinsky’s Berkeley talk, the noted scientist and president of the American Physical Society enumerates Ovshinsky’s many contributions to science and technology.
In the mid-1960s, Stan had an enormous impact on physics with the announcement of two types of devices. Both involved conductors with a thin sheet of amorphous material in between. By applying pulses of one sort, he could transform that thin sheet from a highly resistant material to a highly conducting material. It was known as the threshold switch. It would have a very high resistance until a certain voltage was reached, and then it would switch to a highly conductive state.