Chapter 4 Lee de Forest and the Amplifier

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In this chapter we’ll delve into the early history of electronics. In Chapter 2 we met Samuel Morse and explored the science behind his telegraph. Morse’s telegraph is an electrical device. In this chapter we’ll look at electronic devices. Let’s begin by understanding the difference between an electrical device and an electronic one.

You likely already understand, perhaps intuitively, that light bulbs, space heaters, and kitchen mixers are electrical devices whereas computers, televisions, and radios are electronic ones. But what is the scientific difference?

It comes down to the way electricity ...

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