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In the case of switching the transistor is used as an electronic switch. The transistor can turn an electrical circuit on or off, just as in the case with the point-contact transistor and the two lamps. With the left part you could turn on the right lamp.

The difference between a transistor and a mechanical switch is that the transistor doesn't contain any moving parts and therefore doesn't break quite as easily. The transistor is also operated by an electrical current and not by a mechanical force, such as the pushing of a finger. This enables the transistor to switch between on/off much faster than a mechanical one.

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MLA style: "The Transistor". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 2 Dec 2015. <>