Special Sub-Topic: Electronic Components
|Made from a variety of materials, such as carbon, this inhibits the flow of current.|
resistor. So named because it resists (or inhibits) the flow of current
|This consists of two plates separated by a dielectric and can store a charge. Useful in tuning and filtering circuits, it blocks DC while passing AC.|
capacitor. How much charge a capacitor can store is its capacitance, measured in farads.
|This can consist of a simple wire wound into a helix. It developes a magnetic field when current passes through it. It is also used in tuning circuits and filters. This one passes DC and blocks AC.|
inductor. It also induces a current when passed through a magnetic field, thus the name, inductor.
|This is a type of semiconductor that only allows current to flow in one direction. It is usually used to rectify AC signals (conversion to DC).|
diode. It has two terminals, the anode and the cathode, which is why it is called a diode.
|This consists of an electromagnet, which is used to open or close a contact(s). It is used in switching that requires isolation or high power.|
relay. Relays were used for logic circuits in some of the earliest computers. They were later replaced by modern semiconductors.
|This is a type of semiconductor in which the flow of current can be controlled through a base or gate terminal. It is usually used for electronic switching or amplifiers.|
transistor. The transistor is the basic element in most logic circuits and is what makes the microprocessor and modern computers possible.
|This consists of usually two coil windings which usually share a magnetic core. It is used to convert an AC source or signal into another AC source or signal with the same power (ideally) but different voltage and current.|
transformer. Very large transformers are used in the transmission of electrical power to your house.
|This is a special type of diode that breaks down when a critical reverse voltage is applied. It is most commonly used to regulate voltage.|
Zener diode. They come in a variety of voltages.
|This is a special type of diode that lights up when a small voltage is applied. They are usually used as indicators or in numerical or alphanumerical displays.|
LED. LED stands for light emitting diode. They are usually used as power-on indicators and are not as common in displays due to high power consumption.
|This is a type of display that uses tiny polarized crystals that align when current is passed through them. Used in conjuction with a polarized lens they darken when energized. They are very popular in watches, calculators, and lap-tops.|
LCD. LCD stands for liquid crystal display. They replaced most LED displays because they use very little current. They function in the microamp (millionths of an amp) range, whereas LED's require around 10 miliamps (one hundredth of an amp).
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