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Chips vs Valves

from a "chip" or slice of rock (semi-conductor) used in its construction. Usually refers to silicon, germanium based solid state devices as in transistors, diode, integrated circuits. "Chips" and "solid state devices" are usually synonymous.
is another name for "vacuum tube" and is descriptive of the function that it does. Electricity is a flow of charged particles (usually electrons) and thus a fluid. A vacuum tube like a water valve controls the flow of electrons by rapidly partially "shutting off" and "turning on" the flow. How does it do this? If this were a water faucet (valve) you would turn the handle back and forth. In the case of a vacuum tube (or transistor) a small changing flow of electrons turns the handle back and forth (so to speak) and allows the main flow to be controlled. Internal control is not done by any mechanical handle means, but through ingenious use of the properties of charged particles. Like charged particles repel, and opposite charges attract. All you have to do is put a fence across the path of flow (called a grid) and charge it in such a way to repel the flow (shut it off) or attract the flow (turn it on). If you do all this in a vacuum then you have a vacuum tube.

Offered by Mike.