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  •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
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    sneakers563, kurt

    Complex.

     Discovery of rectifying crystals in 1874, used as detectors in radios in 1906. Selenium, specifically, not used, at least for power applications, until the thirties.

    In 1873 a guy discovered the principle of the thermionic diode, but nothing like a real diode, and then in 1880, Edison rediscovered the principle and built and patented a diode tube. That went nowhere until  Fleming realized that it could be used as a detector & patented the first true thermionic diode in 1904. Strangely enough, it looks like they were first used as radio detectors in 1906, a tie with crystals, but preceding selenium per se.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:55:24 PM PST

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