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Capacitance and Frequency

The picture is of this author's RCA Radiola 17. It was manufactured in 1926. Tuned radio frequency recievers of the period could operate at a few megacycles. This limitation was largely imposed by the intrinsic capacitance of the big four pin triode tubes. A few tricks like the addition of screen grids and the introduction of super- heterodyne techniques extended the range later technologies to tens of megacycles. As time went on smaller components were developed. The reduced capacitance of smaller components extended freqeuncy of operation to hunderds of megacycles. Today, microchips have components of submicron size. The low intrinsic capacitance of these tiny structures permits operation at gigahertz frequencies. This understanding can be applied to elementary particles. The intrinsic capacitance of the electron produces oscillations in the ten to the twentieth power range. These oscillations are known as the Compton frequency of the electron.