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Introduction to Electron Tubes

COURSE NO: E05-002
Introduction to Electron Tubes
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course provides a basic understanding of Vacuum Tubes, explaining the basic theory, evolution and applications.


An electron tube is a device used for the processing of electrical signals. It consists of two or more electrodes inside a metal or glass tube which has been evacuated. Because a vacuum must be provided in the form of an evacuated enclosure in which the electrons can move without collisions with gas molecules, these devices are also called vacuum tubes or electron tubes in the US, and thermionic valves in Britain.


Although solid state semiconductors have replaced the electron tubes in most applications, there are still niche applications where electron tubes not only continue to see practical use, but perform their respective tasks better than any solid-state device. For example, tubes are still used in some high-power amplifiers, especially at microwave radio frequencies and in some hi-fi audio systems. There are a lot of items that still use electronic tubes such as medical equipment, communication equipment, test equipment, televisions, radios, welders, and many others.


This 5 PDH online course is applicable to students, professional engineers, service technicians, energy auditors, operational & maintenance personnel, facility engineers who are interested in gaining a better understanding of electron tubes.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • State the principle of thermionic emission and the Edison Effect
  • Identify the schematic representation for the various electron tubes and their elements
  • Understand the theory of operation associated with the diode, triode, tetrode, and pentode
  • Understand the construction of various tubes and describe the purpose of various tube elements
  • State the advantages and disadvantages of the various types of electron tubes
  • State the limitations of  the electron tubes
  • Describe amplification in the electron tube and how amplification is obtained
  • Explain biasing and the effect of bias in the electron tube circuit
  • Describe, through the use of a characteristic curve, the operating parameters of the electron tube
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review Chapter 1 of Module 6 titled "Introduction to electron Tubes" of the Naval Education and Training Materials (NAVEDTRA 14178), Electricity and Electronic Training Series.

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Introduction to Electron Tubes (1.5 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of twenty five (25) questions to earn 5 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on Chapter 1 of Module 6 of this NAVEDTRA publication.


The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: