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Device that responds to a small input signal (voltage, current, or power) and delivers a larger output signal with the same waveform features. Amplifiers are used in radio and television receivers, high-fidelity audio equipment, and computers. Amplification can be provided by electromechanical devices (e.g., transformers and generators) and vacuum tubes, but most electronic systems now employ solid-state microcircuits. One amplifier is usually insufficient, so its output is fed into a second, whose output is fed to a third, and so on, until the output level is satisfactory.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on amplifier, visit Britannica.com.