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  Touching against the crystal was something called a cat's whisker, a tiny metal wire often composed of steel or even gold. By moving it, the radio user tried to find one of the so-called "magic spots." The reason for this name was that only small areas on the crystal would make the radio function - just like magic. When the whisker was positioned over a "magic spot" an electrical signal travelled down the metal wire and through the crystal. When this happened you could hear the music being transmitted from the radio station. This was an example of a phenomenon called rectification. Rectification means that an electrical current is only allowed to pass in one direction and not in the other. In the crystal radio the cat's whisker and the crystal worked as a rectifier.  
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MLA style: "The Transistor". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 25 Feb 2017. <>