Rectifier

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Assen
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:47 pm
Location: Assen Netherlands

Rectifier

Post by Assen » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:24 am

Sorry, silly question?
When is a rectifier a solid state one? What does solid state mean?

Jannes

Charles Wilson
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Re: Rectifier

Post by Charles Wilson » Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:18 pm

Not silly at all!!!
Richard Feynman said, "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, then you don’t understand quantum mechanics."
From this cheery assessment, we get to this:

From the ever politicized Wiki-P: " A rectifier is an electrical device that converts alternating current (AC), which periodically reverses direction, to direct current (DC), which flows in only one direction..." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rectifier . As you can see as you scroll down the page, the math gets fairly intimidating quite early.)

So: Consider a school playground that has been divided into 2 adjacent playgrounds. At different times, different classes get released into one playground or the other. Where the playgrounds are divided, there is a gate. As the little monsters break out for play, there be will kids who go from one playground to the other through the gate.

As the years go by, consolidation eliminates one of the buildings and playgrounds. The gate is still there but now manned by school guards ("It's for the children..."). At the end of the school day, all the kids are released by way of the playground and they must exit through the gate, into the empty and waiting arms of their parents. I hope you can see where this is going. There are no children outside the gate - school hasn't been let out.

The gatekeepers will open the gate to let a few kids out at a time. The Passage of the kids has been "rectified". The flow is only "one way".

As a history lesson, the development of the transistor is fascinating. The vacuum tube gets replaced with the transistor, which can be miniaturized to virtually atomic dimensions. Every piece of "Solid State" electronics goes back to work at IBM in the early 1950s. It is "Solid State" because various properties of metals such as germanium are manipulated to allow electrons to move in only specific ways.

The explosion of Modern Life leads directly to the development of "Solid State" electronics.

CW

PS: I don't understand it either...

Assen
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Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:47 pm
Location: Assen Netherlands

Re: Rectifier

Post by Assen » Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:12 am

Thanks Charles,

So solid state gives smaller sizes, no moving parts, more accurate rectifying?

Jannes

Charles Wilson
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Posts: 107
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Re: Rectifier

Post by Charles Wilson » Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:30 am

Yes.
There's more to it than that, but the first transistor was comparable in size to the vacuum tube it replaced (sorta'). It was quickly discovered that if you could make one transistor on a piece of silicon, there was enough room for another and then another and then tens, hundreds, thousands, millions... Moore's Law came into being. Tubes became Museum Pieces.

As to "Better" there is a difference between Vacuum Tubes and "Solid State". Vacuum Tubes were "Quieter" and that kept things going for a bit for the tubes but not for long. Today is simply Transcendent-Many-Times-Over to what used to be. It's not a matter of "Accurate" rectifying. We are closing in on Quantum Computing even as we run up against other limits with processing signals.

The first computers filled heavily air conditioned rooms. They were very, very hot. You can go to E-Bay today and buy a used computer that had enough power to run the Banking System for less than $100.

https://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibit ... V2124.html

This story isn't finished. Take a day and look at the History. It is an astonishing Tale.

CW

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