What is a Tube?1
- A device used to amplify currents and signals.
- Also known as electron tubes.
How do tubes work?5
- A cathode, or negatively charged conductor, is heated to “boil off” electrons.
- The electrons fire towards a plate which is positively charged creating a current.
- By altering the current in the plate, you are in turn increasing the voltage. Therefore, amplifying.
- First version was a diode invented in 1904.1
- Originally used to detect weak radio waves.1
- Made radar possible.4
- Guitar Amplifiers.1
- Radios and jukeboxes.
- CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors functioned using tube technology. This is why the television was called the tube for so long.
- John Randall and Harry Boot had invented the cavity magnetron, by improving on similar designs of the past.9
- Able to generate strong microwaves which resulted in a massive increase in the ability of allied radar.
- This technology is how a microwave oven works.
- See reference 9 for the incredible story of Britain sharing this tech with the us. I could make an entire episode about the history surrounding it.
How are tubes used today?
- One of the more interesting uses of tubes is in coms satellites due to their reliability and efficiency.4
- While solid state alternatives have taken over, many audiophiles and musicians prefer microphones and amplifiers that run on tubes.
- Tube technology is considered to be warmer and more spacious, or fuller, sound.
- Either an amplifier or a switch.6
- Works similar to a tube but on a much smaller physical scale. Around 500 transistors in a chip the size of your fingernail.6
- The most important invention that led to personal computers.7
- Transistors and semi-conductors can only get so much smaller using current methods.
- Some suggestions include using Nano-sized “strings” of transistors or memory in a 3-dimensional pattern rather than 2-dimensional.