Power transistors are used in switching circuits of various types. Their operation in these circuits can be considered as an essentially on-off operation. Designers working with these circuits found that the ratio of the on-time to the off-time is a critical factor in determining the average power that the transistor can dissipate without exceeding its inherent temperature limits.
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Electrical and Computer Engineering
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Jako, Christopher. "Pulse Ratings and Thermal Characteristics of Power Transistors." (1949). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/ece_etds/331