Solid state components are the building blocks of today's electronics. Learn about the technology inside the gadgets and machines that we use every day.

How Transistors Work

The introduction of the transistor moved the world from power-hungry vacuum tubes to portable, powerful solid-state electronics. What other advancements has the mighty transistor wrought on our society?

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  • Gadget Savvy: Capacitors Quiz

    Gadget Savvy: Capacitors Quiz

    What looks like a battery, has two terminals like a battery and stores electrons like a battery? Capacitors can store and release electrical energy, but don't replenish their supply. How do capacitors work, and what tools rely on them? See more »

  • Gadget Savvy: Electric Motors Quiz

    Gadget Savvy: Electric Motors Quiz

    Electric motors are inside all kinds of ordinary devices, using a power source to make motion. So what makes the motor go 'round? See more »

  • How Capacitors Work

    How Capacitors Work

    The capacitor plays a crucial role in electronics -- it stores electrons for when they're needed most, dumping a huge charge instead of a steady flow. How does it do it? See more »

  • How Circuit Breakers Work

    How Circuit Breakers Work

    The circuit breaker is one of the most important safety mechanisms in your home. Without it, the risk of fire would skyrocket. Learn how a circuit breaker keeps your home's electricity in check. See more »

  • How does a brushless electric motor work?

    How does a brushless electric motor work?

    The brushless motor is more precise than a regular electric motor and it's also a great deal more efficient. Learn all about brushless motors and how the invention of transistors led to their development. See more »

  • How Electric Motors Work

    How Electric Motors Work

    You might be surprised to find out just how much work is done by electric motors. They're everywhere! You'll find them in your car, your kitchen, bathroom, office... Find out how electric motors get stuff moving. See more »

  • How Electronic Gates Work

    How Electronic Gates Work

    Would you like to be able to build your own digital devices? Logic gates are the basis of digital electronics. Find out what these gates do and how you can use them to start building your own devices. See more »

  • How Inductors Work

    How Inductors Work

    An inductor is little more than a coil of wire. Sound simple? Well, it is -- but that coil of wire can do some pretty cool things. Learn all about inductors and what they're used for. See more »

  • How Light Emitting Diodes Work

    How Light Emitting Diodes Work

    Light emitting diodes form numbers on digital clocks, send data from remote controls, light up traffic signals, illuminate watches -- the simple genius of the design makes it infinitely applicable. See more »

  • How Microcontrollers Work

    How Microcontrollers Work

    Most modern electronic devices (TVs, appliances, power tools) contain an embedded microcontroller. It's basically a dedicated computer. Find out how these devices work and experiment with one on your own. See more »

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