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enter image description hereThis is an unsoldered circuit component that had two metal pieces that weren't making contact inside a thin glass tube. What is this? I haven't seen anything like it before.

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    $\begingroup$ A photo that has the item in focus would help as would more information, such as they type of circuit the item came from. $\endgroup$ – Fred Jan 24 at 8:41
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It looks to me like a reed switch (I can't be really sure though because the image is not clear enough).

enter image description here

A reed switch is an electrical switch operated (usually) by an applied magnetic field. A common example of a reed switch application is to detect the opening of a door or windows, when used as a proximity switch for a security alarm.

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  • $\begingroup$ That's it! Thank you! The image you posted looks exactly like it. $\endgroup$ – Steve Jan 24 at 4:19
  • $\begingroup$ It's also fairly common to see those used in applications where they are actuated by proximity to a permanent magnet. In fact, The name "reed switch" usually is reserved for the permanent magnet use-case. When it's surrounded by a coil of wire, it's more likely to be called a "reed relay." $\endgroup$ – Solomon Slow Jan 24 at 23:19

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