(Or tube, vacuum tube, UK: valve, electron valve, thermionic valve, firebottle, glassfet) An electronic component consisting of a space exhausted of gas to such an extent that electrons may move about freely, and two or more electrodes with external connections. Nearly all tubes are of the thermionic type where one electrode, called the cathode, is heated, and electrons are emitted from its surface with a small energy (typically a Volt or less). A second electrode, called the anode (plate) will attract the electrons when it is positive with respect to the cathode, allowing current in one direction but not the other.
In types which are used for amplification of signals, additional electrodes, called grids, beam-forming electrodes, focussing electrodes and so on according to their purpose, are introduced between cathode and plate and modify the flow of electrons by electrostatic attraction or (usually) repulsion. A voltage change on a grid can control a substantially greate
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