What are Transistors and Resistors?

How to Transistors and Resistors work?


“Transistor, resistor” by oskay is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By: Aidan Musgrove, Journalist

What are Transistors?

Transistors are miniature electronic components that are shaped in a half cylinder with three prongs coming out from one end. The main body is usually black and is made of plastic. When you look at the flat side of the transistor, it will have information about it. The transistor has a collector prong, a base prong, and an emitter prong.

What Does it Do?

The transistor has three prongs. The collector prong has electricity flow through it, and it does not do through to the emitter prong without a little bit of electricity from the base prong. Essentially, it can be used to control large amounts of electricity with only a little bit of electricity.

Why do we Need Them?

We can use a transistor to control electricity flow without using manual interference. This means we can use this to turn multiple things on with a small bit of electricity, and without using a slide switch.

What are Resistors?

Resistors are small cylinder like components with a wire coming from each end. Most resistors have a series of colors on the side to help tell how many ohms it lets through. The resistor can work both ways.

What Does it Do?

Resistors have a specific code of numbers you use to determine how much resistance it gives. They work by withholding electricity and only let through an amount equal to the color code.

Why do we Need Them?

We need resistors to regulate the amount of electricity going to a specific other component to prevent them from overloading. For example, if you want 2000 ohms flowing to a light, then you need a power source of exactly 2000 ohms, or you could use a 200 ohm resistor and a power source that is more easily accessible.




Why Use a Transistor?