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small-signal transistor[edit]

Several Wikipedia articles, including this one, mention "small-signal transistor". Does the transistor article need a definition of that phrase? --DavidCary (talk) 18:47, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 11 May 2014[edit]

Please remove the following paragraph (added as part of edit 16:32, 30 Oct, 2006)

"Unlike bipolar transistors, FETs do not inherently amplify a photocurrent.  Nevertheless, there are ways to use them, especially JFETs, as light-sensitive devices, by exploiting the photocurrents in channel–gate or channel–body junctions."

Reason: Bipolar transistors do not inherently amplify a photo current. The term "photocurrent" is not explained or defined (is this The flow of photons or electrons?). Since this paragraph Is describing a special type of FET, removing this paragraph removes a "distraction" from this more general discussion of transistors. Photosensitive FET should be covered in the FET topic. (talk) 22:04, 11 May 2014 (UTC)


@Kbrose: In this edit you wrote that transistor is a portmanteau of transresistance. It clearly isn't since a portmanteau is a blend of two or more words. Could you please provide the exact quote from your source. See History of transistor#Origin of the term for a more detailed discussion of the naming. SpinningSpark 08:13, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

The definition that portmanteau is a combination of two words is actually not accurate in linguists, I believe,where it is defined as two morphemes. In any case, I gave the explicit reference for my change, which is probably the most definitive and authoritative account and history of the Bell System ever written. That reference is also consistent with another WP article, I think it was history of the transistor. Kbrose (talk) 21:36, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Hi Kbrose, I was not disputing the authority of the source, my request was for an exact quote from the source. On portmanteau, the OED definition is "[a] word formed by blending sounds from two or more distinct words and combining their meanings". I think your definition of "two morphemes" is wrong, but you still need two of something to make it, not one of something. You may have been thinking of the liguistic concept of (again OED) "[a] morph which represents two or more morphemes simultaneously". That is not really relevant here, but in any case transistor is clearly not a morph since it can be broken down into its constituent morphemes. SpinningSpark 02:18, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Besides, a transistor is not a transresistor. Such a device would exhibit an output voltage controlled by an input current.Constant314 (talk) 03:40, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Many sources say that transistor is a portmanteau of "transfer resistor". However, the original transistor naming memo/ballot says, Transistor. This is an abbreviated combination of the words "transconductance" or "transfer", and "varistor". The device logically belongs in the varistor family, and has the transconductance or transfer impedance of a device having gain, so that this combination is descriptive. Dicklyon (talk) 05:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Let us look at the history: The transistor effect has been discovered 1943 in Berlin by Herbert Mataré and he used the term "Transistron" while working on the technology in Paris after 1945. It may be that the people at Bell Labs just used a variation of the term Transistron. Schily (talk) 11:07, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Are you sure you have that in the right order? I see various sources saying he used that term in 1948 or 1949 after realizing his device was similar to the Bell Labs "transistor". Dicklyon (talk) 14:44, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
He filed his patent aprox. one week after the people at Bell Labs but at that time, he was already producing a small series of devices in professional cases from Telefunken (metall-ceramic tubes) that he kept from his RADAR development (noise compensating silicon duo-diodes for 3 GHz) from WW-II. Note that he owned > 90% of all pure germanium on the world at that time that was donated by Heinrich Welker. Welker created this pure germanium in the research laboratory of the air force near Munich. There is an interview with Mataré in the net from aprox. 2 years before his death. It contains a lot of information and dates. Schily (talk) 15:46, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
But when did he use the name "transistron"? The earliest publications of that term that I find are 1949. Dicklyon (talk) 01:59, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
It seems that the interview I have in mind vanished from the net (that one contained more about Schottky). there is however a nice interview in the appendix of a Phd work about the history of transistors (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek ref 99061915X). Mataré explains here that the word is from summer 1948 when both patents have been filed and introduced by his boss. Mataré would have used "Halbleiterverstärker". Btw: it is a pitty that WP has images of the baroque Bell labs transistor but no image from the Mataré transistor. Schily (talk) 08:49, 15 September 2014 (UTC)