signal to turn a given switch on and off

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Michael30000

Senior Member
Russian
Hello everyone,

From the book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman.

A microchip, or chip, as we said, is made up of transistors, which are tiny switches; these switches are con-nected by tiny copper wires that act like pipes through which electrons flow. The way a chip operates is that you push electrons as fast as possible through many copper wires on a single chip. When you send elec-trons from one transistor to another, you are sending a signal to turn a given switch on and off and thus perform some kind of computing function or calculation.

Am I correct in thinking that "sending a signal to turn a given switch on and off" implies performing two operations, i.e. on and then off?
Or does "and" mean in this case "or", i.e. to turn a given switch on or off?

Thank you.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    This would be better expressed as
    "When you send an electron from one transistor to another, you are sending a signal to change the state of a switch (if it is on, it will become off, and if it is off it will become on)" so, to my mind, "or" is more accurate but not completely accurate.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    If the sentence was "you are sending a signal to turn a given switch on or off and thus perform some kind of computing function or calculation." it would be both linguistically and technically correct.

    PS. It could not be "an electron". A single electron is insufficient to change the state of a transistor.
     
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