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Electronics For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Gordon McComb, Cathleen Shamieh

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Chapter 6

The Wide World of Semiconductors

In This Chapter

arrow Peeking inside a semiconductor

arrow Fusing two or more semiconductors to make diodes and transistors

arrow Letting current flow this way, but not that way, with diodes

arrow Understanding transistor action

arrow Using transistors as teeny-tiny switches

arrow Giving signals a boost with transistors

Semiconductors are at the heart of nearly every major electronic system that exists today, from the programmable pacemaker to the space shuttle. It’s amazing to think that teeny-tiny semiconductors are responsible for triggering enormous advances in modern medicine, space exploration, industrial automation, home entertainment systems, communications, and a slew of other industries.

Semiconductor diodes and transistors can be made to conduct or block electric current — depending on how you control them electrically. They make it possible to allow current to flow ...

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