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## What kind of op-amp is that?

 Quote by Femme_physics You mean that Vout = 12V? True, we can't really tell. Can we? It's rather confusing. BUT according to the fact the current goes into the op-amp, that's our key in telling it's an inverter, right?
The circuit is definitely a non-inverting amplifier, gain = +2.4V/V. If you were to change the input from +5V to say + 5.5V you would get 2.4*5.5 = +2.64V output.

If the output goes up when the input goes up, that's a non-inverting configuration. It has nothing to do with the direction of current at the input or output.
 Recognitions: Homework Help Femme_physics, I notice in your calculation of V(-) you used an erroneous formula for the resistive divider involving Rb: So Rb and Rx will need to be recomputed. Circuit parameters do evaluate to nice round figures now. "... so I think you should return the flowers..."

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 Quote by NascentOxygen Femme_physics, I notice in your calculation of V(-) you used an erroneous formula for the resistive divider involving Rb:
Actually, your formula is perfectly correct! I was relying on memory and in my mind had Rb and R1 swapped around. :(

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 Quote by rude man The circuit is definitely a non-inverting amplifier, gain = +2.4V/V. If you were to change the input from +5V to say + 5.5V you would get 2.4*5.5 = +2.64V output.
True, but that's only half the story...

The circuit is also definitely an inverting amplifier, gain = -1.4 v/v. Using the lower end of R1 for input, if you change the input voltage from 0v (ground) to -0.5v, the output rises from +12v to +12.7v. Viewed this way, the zener functions to bias the op-amp so as to allow operation from a single polarity power supply.
 Q-Fever....OK, this is an attempt to see if the working point at V+=V-=Vout=0V is stable. Note that my knowledge about electronics is very limited and that this may be a completely wrong way of looking at the problem. Let's assume the following: The op-amp as a huge open-loop gain G such that Vout=G(V+ - V-) + Vs/2. G will be something like 10^4 or 10^6. Vs/2 is the midpoint between the supply and ground. Looking at the characterstic curve of the Zener diode: Around 0V, the Zener diode behaves like a resistor with a fairly large impedance Rz. I guess Rz>RI/4 (you will see later why). Let's say Rz=6.5 kΩ just to have a number. Now assume V+=ε, a small voltage and V-=0 (it works the same way with V=-ε or V+=ε1 and V-=ε2). You then get Vout = G ε + Vs/2, which leads to V-=RI/(Rb+RI)*(Gε+Vs/2)=0.42 (Gε+Vs/2) V+=Rz/(Ra+Rz)*(Gε+Vs/2)=0.65(Gε+Vs/2) V+ - V- = (0.65-0.42)(Gε +Vs/2) which is larger than the starting point (which was ε), so the situation is unstable and Vout will drift up until the Zener no longer behaves as a resistor. For a very small value of ε the constant offset Vs/2 on the output voltage dominates. It does not even matter if ε is positive or negative For this to be the case RI cannot be too large, RI < Rb/Ra Rz. For those who wonder if the assumption Vout=G(V+ - V-) + Vs/2 is compatible with the "normal" operation of the circuit: Assume V+=5V and V-=5v-ε, Vout=12V and G=10000. Then you get G(5V - (5V-ε))+Vs/2 = Gε + 12.5V = 12V, i.e. ε=-0.5V/G=-50μV which can be neglected. At the operating point with Vz=5V, the Zener diode has a very steep characteristic curve, i.e. a very small impedance. If Vout changes, the change in V+ will be much smaller than that in V-, so that the negative feedback dominates and Vout is stabilized. So, NascentOxygen, am I thinking along the right lines here? (I've just made it up, don't be too polite if it's all BS).

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 Quote by M Quack The op-amp as a huge open-loop gain G such that Vout=G(V+ - V-) + Vs/2.
I guess that's right. Op-amps usually are powered by double supplies, so your Vs/2 term is unusual, but I can't see it could be anything else.
 looking at the characterstic curve of the Zener diode: Around 0V, the Zener diode behaves like a resistor with a fairly large impedance Rz. I guess Rz>RI/4 (you will see later why).
That's right.

 situation is unstable and Vout will drift up until the Zener no longer behaves as a resistor.
So there is no stable state with Vout=0. In practice, you usually won't get the op-amp delivering an output equal to either supply rail, in any case, so you wouldn't be able to obtain Vout=0.

You analysis is spot on. Below the zener breakdown, the amplifier has more positive feedback than negative. This could send Vout towards 0 but nothing happens that would keep it there, and any noise that sends Vout towards +Vs will succeed, owing to a nett positive feedback.

Well done!
 Thanks for checking.

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