A vacuum tube works to control and convert electric current. A vacuum tube is usually shaped like a cylinder and has a small light bulb inside that burns off electrons and converts them from alternating current to direct current. Old televisions and transistor radios used the vacuum tubes. When one went bad, it had to be replaced in order to maintain the flow pattern of current and the ability to produce electronic amplification. Most electronic applications that were build on the use of vacuum tubes have been replaces with transistors and semiconductor devices for more efficiency but are still used for high powered radio transmitters.
Vacuum tubes operate/suck up materials as a result of the suction produced by the motor of the vacuum motor. The pressure and force produced throughout the tube allows for suction to occur. The stronger the motor on the vacuum the better the suction through the tube will be.
A vacuum tube collects the sun's raise to create energy. This is done by passing water through the center of the tube heating it. The water turns to steam and powers a turbine.
How does a vacuum tube work is actually like an amplifier. Only in this case it's the pull of the air that is amplified. AC voltages are increased through the tube to pull in the particles. Pretty neat.