transistor

  

Definition

Tiny solid-state semiconductor device that can regulate electric current flowing through it, and whose development launched the electronic age. Commonly made of germanium or silicon layers, a transistor requires very little current to operate and, thus, releases very little heat. Depending upon its configuration, it can be utilized in several ways, such as an amplifier, oscillator, rectifier, and/or switch. Invented in 1947 jointly by the US researchers John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley of Bell Laboratories.

Use transistor in a sentence

  • The alien spacecraft seemed to be light years ahead of earth technology, so Commander Gibson was flummoxed to discover some of the seemingly sophisticated machinery was being powered by nothing more than old-fashioned, Earth-style transistors.

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  • Because one of the many transistors that enabled the machine to perform addition was faulty, the old computer regularly produced incorrect results.

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  • The device utilized a transistor as part of its feat of engineering that enabled the technology to produce desired results.

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