Chapter 6

Working with Transistors

In This Chapter

arrow Understanding transistors

arrow Using a transistor as an amplifier

arrow Switching on and off with a transistor

arrow Creating a flashing circuit

Most people became aware of the transistor when transistor radios took off in the 1960s and 1970s. Before that, radios were more or less confined to the home – often as pieces of furniture in the living room that people gathered around. The transistor allowed the radio to go out into the street, the workplace and – to the older generation’s annoyance – the beach and cafe.

That was just the first obvious sign of an extraordinary technology revolution that was to change everyone’s lives. Today, transistors are in just about every piece of electronics you can think of, from your washing machine to satellites. They have led to new industries, such as computing, and revolutionised older ones, such as publishing. Without them your mobile phone wouldn’t be mobile and your computer wouldn’t fit in your office, let alone under your desk. The world wouldn’t have laptops, MP3 players or even cassette or CD players, ...

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