Magnetic amplifier

The magnetic amplifier is an electromagnetic device for amplifying electrical signals. The magnetic amplifier was invented early in the 20th century, and was used as an alternative to vacuum tube amplifiers where robustness and high current capacity were required. World War II Germany perfected this type of amplifier, and it was used in the V-2 rocket. The magnetic amplifier was most prominent in power control and low-frequency signal applications from 1947 to about 1957, when the transistor began to supplant it. The magnetic amplifier has now been largely superseded by the transistor-based amplifier, except in a few safety critical, high-reliability or extremely demanding applications. Combinations of transistor and mag-amp techniques are still used.


The magnetic amplifier is an electromagnetic device for amplifying electrical signals. The magnetic amplifier was invented early in the 20th century, and was used as an alternative to vacuum tube amplifiers where robustness and high current capacity were required. World War II Germany perfected this type of amplifier, and it was used in the V-2 rocket. The magnetic amplifier was most prominent in power control and low-frequency signal applications from 1947 to about 1957, when the transistor began to supplant it. The magnetic amplifier has now been largely superseded by the transistor-based amplifier, except in a few safety critical, high-reliability or extremely demanding applications. Combinations of transistor and mag-amp techniques are still used.
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