Electricity in a wire creates the pushes and pulls that get work done. It lights lamps and runs machines. But electricity has another important use. It can carry information. Thanks to electricity’s ability to carry information, we have tiny radios, handheld calculators and video games, and personal computers.
The use of electricity to carry electric signals is called electronics. These electric signals may stand for sounds, pictures, numbers, letters, computer instructions, or other sorts of information.
An electronic device has many tiny electrical pathways called circuits. Each circuit has a special job. Some circuits store signals. Others change signals. For example, in an electronic calculator, one circuit might add two numbers together. When the answer is reached, another circuit sends a signal that light up a display screen to show the answer.
The circuits in most of today’s electronic devices are mounted on a chip, a piece of material that is no bigger than a fingernail.
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