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|vacuum tube |
An electron tube from which all air has been removed. The vacuum ensures transparency inside the tube for electric fields and moving electrons. Most electron tubes are vacuum tubes; cathode-ray tubes, which include television picture tubes and other video display tubes, are the most widely used vacuum tubes. In other electronic applications, vacuum tubes have largely been replaced by transistors.
device usually consisting of a sealed glass or metal-ceramic enclosure that is used in electronic circuitry to control a flow of electrons. Among the common applications of vacuum tubes are amplification of a weak current, rectification of an alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC), generation of oscillating radio-frequency (RF) power for radio and radar, and creation of images on a television screen or computer monitor. Common types of electron tubes include magnetrons, klystrons, gyrotrons, cathode-ray tubes (such as the thyratron), photoelectric cells (also known as phototubes), and neon and fluorescent lamps.