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Shockley Equation Question

  1. Mar 20, 2013 #1
    So I have a question regarding the Shockley Equation. It is meant to find the current-voltage relation of a diode. However, on Wikipedia(I know it may be wrong), it says it is supposed to find the current-voltage relation of an "ideal" diode.

    Does that make any sense? Because I thought an ideal diode was not meant to have a voltage across it which makes it ideal.

    So I guess what I'm really asking is, "Is Wikipedia's description of the Shockley Equation incorrect?"
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2013 #2


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    A diode has a voltage drop across it in any practical application. The potential difference is either an applied reverse bias voltage, or a forward voltage developed by the diode when a current is passed through it in accordance with the diode equation. The only time a diode has no voltage drop is when it is quiescent, e.g., when it is not connected to anything.

    The only error I saw in the Wikipedia section on the Shockley equation was crediting Shockley as a co-inventor of the transistor. As brilliant as he was, he was not a part of its invention, which was pulled off by Bardeen and Brattain. Shockley had earlier conceptualized the field effect transistor, but couldn't make it work.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
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