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Appendix D. Amplifier stability

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Every amplifier will produce a certain amount of heat. When a transistor heats up, its characteristics will change. For example, the quiescent collector current will increase. This may heat up the transistor even more, causing the quiescent current to increase, etcetera. This behaviour is called thermal runaway. This may cause the amplifier to clip, and may destroy the transistor. This, of course, must be prevented.