80 Years of Research at the Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium (1914-1994)

The Role of the Nat. Lab. at Philips

Marc J. de Vries

80 Years of Research at the Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium (1914-1994)
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Marc J. de Vries

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

With Contributions by F. Kees Boersma
326 pages | 40 halftones | 6-1/4 x 9-1/2 | © 2006
Paper $43.95 ISBN: 9789085550518 Published October 2006 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Since World War I, the Natuurkundig Laboratorium has been a crucial center of industrial research for Philips, one of the world’s largest electronics companies. In this study, Marc J. de Vries demonstrates how the history of the laboratory can help us understand important changes in the production and uses of technology in the twentieth century. 

Breaking their study into three periods, each characterized by different research goals and approaches, the authors augment this general history with detailed case studies. The result will be of value to anyone studying the history and philosophy of technology.

Contents
Preface
1. The Role of a Research Organization in an Industrial Company:  Motives and Themes for Writing the History of the Philips Nat.Lab.
2. Prologue:  The Nat. Lab.'s Early Years (1914-1923)
 
Part I.  The Nat.Lab. as a Growth and Diversification Factor in the Philips Company (1923-1946)
3. Developing a Research Organization for a Diversifying Company
3.1 Philips and Technological and Economic Developments in the Netherlands in the 1923-1946 Period
3.2 Supporting Company Diversification as a Nat.Lab. Goal
3.3 Increasing the Laboratory's Means
3.4 The Culture and Structures for the Diversifying Research Programme
3.5 Influencing the Company
4. Research for Diversification in Action
4.1 Gas Discharges and mercury Lamps
4.2 X-ray Tubes
4.3 Ferrites
4.4 Research Rules Reconsidered
 
Intermezzo I. The German Occupation and the Transition Years (1940-1946)
 
Part II.  An Autonomous Lab alongside Autonomous Product Divisions (1946-1972)
5. A Reserach Organization alongside Autonomous Product Divisions
5.1 The Economic, Social and Scientific Context in the 1950s and 1960s
5.2 A New Task Profile for the Nat.Lab
5.3 Further Increase of Means
5.4 Culture and Structure for a 'Fundamental' Research Lab in an Industrial Company
5.5 Tensions in the Relationships with PDs
6. The Practice of Autonomous Research
6.1 The Stirling Engine
6.2 The Plumbicon
6.3 LOCOS: LOCal Oxidation of Silicon
6.4 The VLP
6.5 Inventions and Innovations
 
Intermezzo II.  Changing Attitudes towards Science and Technology (1966-1972)
 
Part III.  The Road towards Mutual Commitment (1972-1994)
7. Redirecting the Research Organization for Mutual Commitment
7.1 The Problematic Economic Climate
7.2 Towards a PD-oriented Task Profile
7.3 Limited Resources
7.4 Changes in the Lab Culture
7.5 Increasing Co-operation with PDs
8. Examples of the Road towards Mutual Commitment
8.1 Optical Telecommunications
8.2 Integrated Digital Audio Converters
8.3 Magnetic Recording Heads for Consumer Video Cassette Recorders
8.4 A Knowledge Centre for the Company
9. Epilogue: The Dynamics of the Nat.Lab. as a Professional Organization within the Philips Company
9.1 Changes in the Role of the Nat.Lab.
9.2 The Nature of Industrial Research
9.3 Comparison with other Industrial Research Laboratories
 
List of Figures
 
Notes
 
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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