Traditional transistor explanations basically *suck.*The ones I see in textbooks and hobby magazines are terrible. They're full of errorsand contradictions. They misuse the word "current" as if it were a substance thatflows. They don't explain insulators properly. And they try to prove that the basecurrent can have an effect on the collector current. And then there's all those authorswho use Common-base amplifiers to introduce transistors to newbies. Are they justfools who follow a tradition only because it's traditional? Why don't they ever makeefforts to
the explanations? Were they written in stone by god? Well, if nobody but me thinks the explanation is open to improvements, then I'd better put mymoney where my mouth is. (And if I'm right, then it should be very easy to write avastly improved explanation.)Below are my ideas on how transistors
work. They're *not* based on thetraditional explanations found widely in engineering texts and electronics magazines.Instead they're based on semiconductor physics and the details behind the Ebers-Moll model. As you'll soon see, several new concepts are required. It might be easier for you to just memorize the equations rather than to imagine what really goes oninside. But if you DO manage to decode my explanations and crude ASCII artwork, Ithink you'll be in the elite minority who
transistors. I've found thateven most working engineers have no good mental picture of bipolar transistor operation. So, if you attain a clear understanding of transistors, you'll surpass many of the experts.First of all, you must abandon the idea that
travels in transistors or flows inside of wires. Yes, you heard me right.Current does not flow.Electric current
flows, since anelectric current is not a stuff. Electric current is a flow of something else. (Ask yourself this:what's the stuff that flows in a river, is it called "current?" Or is it called "water?")
Since a current is a flow of charge, the common expression "flow of current" should beavoided, since literally it means "flow of flow of charge."
- MODERN COLLEGE PHYSICS,Richards, Sears, Wehr, Zemanski
So what flows inside of wires?The stuff that moves within wires is not named Electric Current. Intead it is called
. It's the
that flows, never the current. And in rivers or in plumbing, it's thewater that flows, not the "current." We cannot understand plumbing until we stop believingin a magical stuff called "current." We must learn that "water" flows inside of pipes. Thesame is true with circuits. Wires are not full of current, they are full of charges that canmove. Electric charge is real stuff; it can move around with a real velocity and a realdirection. But electric current is not stuff. If we decide to ignore "current," and then examinethe behavior of moving charges in great detail, we can burn off the clouds of fog that blockour understanding of electronics.
the charges found within conductors do not push themselves along, but insteadthey're pushed by potential difference; they're pushed by the voltage-fields within theconductive material. Charges are not squirted out of the power supply as if the power supply was some sort of water tank. If you imagine that the charges leave through thepositive or negative terminal of the power supply; and if you think that the charges thenspread throughout the hollow pipes of the circuit, then you've made a fundamental mistake.Wires do not act like "empty electron-pipes." A power supply does not supply any electrons.Power supplies certainly
currents, or they
currents, but remember, we'reremoving that word "current." To create a flow of charges, a power supply
injectany charges into the wires. The power supply is only a pump. A pump can supply apumping pressure. Pumps never supply the water being pumped.
have you discovered the big 'secret' of visualizing electric circuits? ALL CONDUCTORS ARE ALREADY FULL OF CHARGEWires and silicon ...both behave like pre-filled water pipes or water tanks. Electric circuitsare based on full pipes. This simple idea is usually obscured by the phrase "power supplies
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