## Thursday, July 28, 2011

### Physics Form 5: Chapter 4 - How Transistor Works

The design of a transistor allows it to function as an amplifier or a switch. This is accomplished by using a small amount of electricity to control a gate on a much larger supply of electricity, much like turning a valve to control a supply of water.
Transistors are composed of three parts – a base, a collector, and an emitter.

Base = gate controller device for the larger electrical  supply.
Collector = larger electrical supply.
Emitter = outlet for electrical supply.

By sending varying levels of current from the base, the amount of current flowing through the gate from the collector may be regulated. In this way, a very small amount of current may be used to control a large amount of current, as in an amplifier. The same process is used to create the binary code for the digital processors but in this case a voltage threshold of five volts is needed to open the collector gate. In this way, the transistor is being used as a switch with a binary function: five volts – ON, less than five volts – OFF.

Still Can't Understand How Transistor Works!

Try this imagination!
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We provide a reservoir of water for "C" (the "power supply voltage") but it can't move because there's a big black plunger thing in the way which is blocking the outlet to "E". The reservoir of water is called the "supply voltage".

If we increase the amount of water sufficiently, it will burst our transistor just the same as if we increase the voltage to a real transistor. We don't want to do this, so we keep that "supply voltage" at a safe level.

If we pour water current into "B" this current flows along the "Base" pipe and pushes that black plunger thing upwards, allowing quite a lot of water to flow from "C" to "E". Some of the water from "B" also joins it and flows away.

If we pour even more water into "B", the black plunger thing moves up further and a great torrent of water current flows from "C" to "E".