10 Facts About Audion


Audion was an electronic detecting or amplifying vacuum tube invented by American electrical engineer Lee de Forest in 1906.

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The many practical applications for amplification motivated its rapid development, and the original Audion was superseded within a few years by improved versions with higher vacuum.

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Audion eventually discovered that connecting the antenna circuit to a third electrode placed directly in the space current path greatly improved the sensitivity; in his earliest versions, this was simply a piece of wire bent into the shape of a gridiron .

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Audion provided power gain; with other detectors, all of the power to operate the headphones had to come from the antenna circuit itself.

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De Forest and everybody else at the time greatly underestimated the potential of his grid Audion, imagining it to be limited to mostly military applications.

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Audion then applied the same approach to producing a rectifier for the newly developed "Coolidge" X-ray tubes.

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Audion's rectifiers were called "Kenotrons" from the Greek keno and tron .

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Audion then turned his attention to the Audion tube, again suspecting that its notoriously unpredictable behaviour might be tamed with more care in the manufacturing process.

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Audion soon realized that his "vacuum" Audion had markedly different characteristics from the de Forest version, and was really a quite different device, capable of linear amplification and at much higher frequencies.

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Audion was a considerable improvement on this, but the original devices could not provide any subsequent amplification to what was produced in the signal detection process.

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