How the Vacuum Tube Created the Age of Electronics


Sun, Jan 31, 2021    
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Event Type

Dr. Allen will begin with the earliest history of vacuum tubes, describing the Edison Effect, and how Ambrose Fleming and Lee de Forest’s inventions exploited this to create the first functioning vacuum tubes.  We will review the basic theory of tubes as we move on to the pioneering developments at companies like GE, Bell Telephone, and RCA, including Edwin H. Armstrong’s circuits. These creations revolutionized communication and led to our modern age of electronics.

Jonathan Allen received his Ph.D. in applied physics from Washington U. in St. Louis. Since then his career has been mainly in solar photovoltaic R&D and industrial RF power systems. He has worked with electronics for at least 60 years. He is currently an independent consultant in industrial RF and instrumentation.  For the past 8 years, Dr. Allen has been a volunteer at the Sarnoff Collection, restoring and documenting electronic artifacts, lecturing, and guiding visitors.