Electronic Tubes

Written by Michael O'Brien
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Electronic tubes are important in the conduction of electricity. Though these electronic tubes once were the main components of circuit design, they've been a bit overthrown by semiconductors. That's the hard knocks in a fast-paced techno world. What's bad news for outdated electronics is good news to the user.

Electronic Tubes of Yore

Electronic tubes control the flow of electrons. The semiconductor version of the tube is the transistor. Once the transistor came along, electronics got a lot smaller. Remember how excited you were about your transistor radio? Transistors also control the flow of electricity in a circuit. Tubes are all but obsolete in electronics these days. This doesn't mean, however that your old transistor radio needs to be obsolete as well.

Electrons flow in a vacuum tube. The diode is the simplest example of a vacuum tube. It has only two electrodes. Diodes allow electricity to flow in only one direction. Vacuum tubes and their uses are impressive. A cathode-ray tube is used in video displays. Gas tubes are similar to vacuum tubes but can transmit larger currents. One of the main drawbacks of vacuum tubes, besides their size, is that they get really hot.

Transistors: The New Tube

In many applications, electron tubes have been replaced with transistors. Transistors have made the modern world much more convenient. Without them, there would be no laptop computers or palm pilots. They aid in making electronics a nice, small size, and prevent electronic equipment from excessive overheating.


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