How Does a Transistor Work?

Tiny transistors have a big job to do in all of our electronic devices ... so, how do they work? Discover the chemistry and physics behind semiconductive elements such as silicon through an intriguing video from Veritasium's playlist. Pupils peer inside silicon crystals doped with phosphorus or boron to see how they encourage or interrupt the flow of electrons based on information from the system.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Watch the video before performing an electronics-related lab or design project
  • Break pupils into pairs and ask them to research current innovations in transistor design
Classroom Considerations

  • Students should understand chemical bonding concepts 

  • Animations help viewers understand how modern transistors function
  • The narrator describes the self-limiting nature of current transistor design in a student-friendly fashion

  • None
Common Core