One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A high-speed solid-state switching device which is triggered by a pulse of coherent light and is used in the triggers of nuclear devices.
- ‘The switches can be used in place of spark gaps, thyratrons and krytrons.’
- ‘It returned 469 of the krytrons but the rest, they declared, had been destroyed in testing conventional weapons.’
- ‘No special licenses had been granted by the U.S. for the export of krytrons in its possession.’
- ‘It returned the krytrons to the United States and claimed they were not intended for a nuclear use.’
- ‘Smyth admitted that he was aware of the requirement to have a license or State Department approval prior to exporting the krytrons and that the shipments had no such approval.’
1970s: first element of obscure derivation + -tron.
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