By Mark Frauenfelder at 8:40 pm Wed, Jan 7, 2009
Collin Cunningham probably meant to say silicon carbide, which is a mineral that is a semiconductor–it’s even used in blue LEDs now.
Silicone is the rubbery or oily stuff.
I’m pretty sure Collin reversed the cathode and anode…
LEDs are quantum devices which exhibit the Waterfall Effect. Some amazing physics makes those little things work.
I still have my first electric watch, a LED model I bought in 1978.
Collin, beware Boston! The police there fear and loathe LEDs! If you have them, you are clearly a terrorist bomber!
Holy crap, that was long. I’m used to Pettis’ style of fast-action editing, and this thing could’ve easily been condensed into 3 minutes. I didn’t know he had left MAKE for so long, I kinda liked his week-end projects.
LEDs are over a hundred years old!
Who’d a thunk it?
I love this video!
Yeah, I like Collin’s relaxed, basic videos.. There are plenty of in-depth, overly-compicated sources of information on the type of things he covers, so it’s a nice change of gear to put on a light, myth-busters level video about the little lost things I often wonder about, but don’t take the time to find out.
Also, there always seems to be a comment about how slow or long or basic, or whatever, Collin’s videos are (see hack-a-day comments, for example).
Those people will just have to reconcile themselves that they are smarter, quicker and shorter-of-attention-span than the rest of us humans – and look on us with pity as we try mash the world of information through our thin, sieve-like brains, hoping something will stick.. problem is, the good facts are powdery-fine and slip right through.
Lumpy stuff like nascar and god seem to stick in a brain a bit too easily, however.
Well done Collin. Keep it up!
Re comment #2: Nope, he got the anode/cathode right. Anode and cathode are defined by current direction, not by charge. The positive terminal on a battery cell is its cathode, but the positive terminal on a diode is its anode. For both battery and diode, however, electrons flow into the device through its cathode and out of device through its anode (and current, by convention, “flows” in the opposite direction).
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