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Electronic components

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Light-emitting diode

A light-emitting diode (LED) is a two-lead semiconductor light source. It is a p–n junction diode that emits light when activated. When a suitable current is applied to the leads, electrons are able to recombine with electron holes within the device, releasing energy in the form of photons. This effect is called electroluminescence, and the color of the light is determined by the energy band gap of the semiconductor. LEDs are typically small and integrated optical components may be used to shape the radiation pattern.

 
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Capacitor

A capacitor is a passive two-terminal electrical component that stores potential energy in an electric field. The effect of a capacitor is known as capacitance. While some capacitance exists between any two electrical conductors in proximity in a circuit, a capacitor is a component designed to add capacitance to a circuit. The capacitor was originally known as a condenser or condensator. The original name is still widely used in many languages, but not in English.

 
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Diode

A diode is a two-terminal electronic component that conducts current primarily in one direction ; it has low resistance in one direction, and high resistance in the other. A diode vacuum tube or thermionic diode is a vacuum tube with two electrodes, a heated cathode and a plate, in which electrons can flow in only one direction, from cathode to plate. A semiconductor diode, the most common type today, is a crystalline piece of semiconductor material with a p–n junction connected to two electrical terminals. Semiconductor diodes were the first semiconductor electronic devices. The discovery of asymmetric electrical conduction across the contact between a crystalline mineral and a metal was made by German physicist Ferdinand Braun in 1874. Today, most diodes are made of silicon, but other materials such as gallium arsenide and germanium are used.

 
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Motherboard

A motherboard is the main printed circuit board (PCB) found in general purpose microcomputers and other expandable systems. It holds and allows communication between many of the crucial electronic components of a system, such as the central processing unit (CPU) and memory, and provides connectors for other peripherals. Unlike a backplane, a motherboard usually contains significant sub-systems such as the central processor, the chipset's input/output and memory controllers, interface connectors, and other components integrated for general purpose use and applications.

 
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Solar cell

A solar cell, or photovoltaic cell, is an electrical device that converts the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect, which is a physical and chemical phenomenon. It is a form of photoelectric cell, defined as a device whose electrical characteristics, such as current, voltage, or resistance, vary when exposed to light. Individual solar cell devices can be combined to form modules, otherwise known as solar panels. In basic terms a single junction silicon solar cell can produce a maximum open-circuit voltage of approximately 0.5 to 0.6 volts.

 
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Integrated circuit

An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece of semiconductor material, normally silicon. The integration of large numbers of tiny transistors into a small chip results in circuits that are orders of magnitude smaller, cheaper, and faster than those constructed of discrete electronic components. The IC's mass production capability, reliability and building-block approach to circuit design has ensured the rapid adoption of standardized ICs in place of designs using discrete transistors. ICs are now used in virtually all electronic equipment and have revolutionized the world of electronics. Computers, mobile phones, and other digital home appliances are now inextricable parts of the structure of modern societies, made possible by the small size and low cost of ICs.

 
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Bipolar junction transistor

A bipolar junction transistor is a type of transistor that uses both electron and hole charge carriers. In contrast, unipolar transistors, such as field-effect transistors, only use one kind of charge carrier. For their operation, BJTs use two junctions between two semiconductor types, n-type and p-type.

 
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Resistor

A resistor is a passive two-terminal electrical component that implements electrical resistance as a circuit element. In electronic circuits, resistors are used to reduce current flow, adjust signal levels, to divide voltages, bias active elements, and terminate transmission lines, among other uses. High-power resistors that can dissipate many watts of electrical power as heat, may be used as part of motor controls, in power distribution systems, or as test loads for generators. Fixed resistors have resistances that only change slightly with temperature, time or operating voltage. Variable resistors can be used to adjust circuit elements, or as sensing devices for heat, light, humidity, force, or chemical activity.

 
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Microphone

A microphone, colloquially nicknamed mic or mike, is a transducer that converts sound into an electrical signal.

 
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Inductor

An inductor, also called a coil, choke or reactor, is a passive two-terminal electrical component that stores energy in a magnetic field when electric current flows through it. An inductor typically consists of an insulated wire wound into a coil around a core.

 
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555 timer IC

The 555 timer IC is an integrated circuit (chip) used in a variety of timer, pulse generation, and oscillator applications. The 555 can be used to provide time delays, as an oscillator, and as a flip-flop element. Derivatives provide two (556) or four (558) timing circuits in one package.

 
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Vacuum tube

In electronics, a vacuum tube, an electron tube, or just a tube, or valve is a device that controls electric current between electrodes in an evacuated container. Vacuum tubes mostly rely on thermionic emission of electrons from a hot filament or a heated cathode. This type is called a thermionic tube or thermionic valve. A phototube, however, achieves electron emission through the photoelectric effect. Not all electronic circuit valves/electron tubes are vacuum tubes (evacuated); gas-filled tubes are similar devices containing a gas, typically at low pressure, which exploit phenomena related to electric discharge in gases, usually without a heater.

 
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Antenna (radio)

In radio, an antenna is the interface between radio waves propagating through space and electric currents moving in metal conductors, used with a transmitter or receiver. In transmission, a radio transmitter supplies an electric current to the antenna's terminals, and the antenna radiates the energy from the current as electromagnetic waves. In reception, an antenna intercepts some of the power of an electromagnetic wave in order to produce an electric current at its terminals, that is applied to a receiver to be amplified. Antennas are essential components of all radio equipment, and are used in radio broadcasting, broadcast television, two-way radio, communications receivers, radar, cell phones, satellite communications and other devices.

 
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Field-effect transistor

The field-effect transistor (FET) is a transistor that uses an electric field to control the electrical behaviour of the device. FETs are also known as unipolar transistors since they involve single-carrier-type operation. Many different implementations of field effect transistors exist. Field effect transistors generally display very high input impedance at low frequencies. The conductivity between the drain and source terminals is controlled by an electric field in the device, which is generated by the voltage difference between the body and the gate of the device.

 
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Transducer

A transducer is a device that converts energy from one form to another. Usually a transducer converts a signal in one form of energy to a signal in another.