what is a diode and how is it used in electronics ?

i recently salvaged a motherload of switches and other random electrical parts from a broken dvd player. i found a black cilinder with a silver band painted around it. i went online and found out its a diode but it did not clarify what its function is to a extent that a less experienced person would understand it just tell me what does it do and whats it used in (put it in lamens terms so i can get a good understanding)

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sound918 years ago
As said before, diodes allow current to flow only one way. The most common things that I use them for is making rectifiers. Rectifiers change AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current). Alternating current is what you find when using something such as a wall outlet, and DC is from something such as a battery. Also, a common and easy to understand use for diodes is to keep batteries from being put in backwards and messing up a device. Sometimes, if you take apart something that runs off of batteries, it has a diode that won't allow the current to flow in the wrong directions.
It only allows electricity to flow in one direction.
so its like a bridge that currents can only go one way but current cant be transferd back the other way
adam 1018 years ago
it is kind of like a one way street
albylovesscience (author)  adam 1018 years ago
so what can it be used in
kelseymh8 years ago
Wikipedia is your friend. Give it a try, you might learn more than you expected to.
Jayefuu8 years ago
Current can flow through a diode in one direction but not in the other direction.

They're used for lots of things. Commonly in power supplies and demodulation of signals. See here for quite a long list.