Vacuum Tube Basics

  • Jerry C. Whitaker


A power grid tube is a device using the flow of free electrons in a vacuum to produce useful work.1 It has an emitting surface (the cathode), one or more grids that control the flow of electrons, and an element that collects the electrons (the anode). Power tubes can be separated into groups according to the number of electrodes (grids) they contain. The physical shape and location of the grids relative to the plate and cathode are the main factors that determine the amplifiication factor (µ) and other parameters of the device (see Section 3.2.5). The physical size and types of material used to construct the individual elements determine the power capability of the tube. A wide variety of tube designs are available to commercial and industrial users. By far the most common are triodes and tetrodes.


Control Grid Anode Voltage Vacuum Tube Secondary Emission Grid Voltage 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

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  • Jerry C. Whitaker

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