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Best book to teach oneself electronics/circuit stuff?

  1. Jun 28, 2012 #1
    I have a B.A. in physics, but I would like to get a better handle on the practical knowledge of electronics. I'm working in a lab now and am continuously frustrated by my lack of experience in actually using different instruments, cables, etc. I have had an introduction to basic electronics, but I want a good book to really get acquainted with it. I've got the learning by doing thing covered for now - I need a reference that includes theory and the details beyond theory, and is friendly to newcomers.


    I apologize if this is the wrong place to post this question.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 28, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    It might be a bit too basic, but check out "The Art of Electronics" by Horowitz and Hill:


    You should be able to browse through it at your university library.
  4. Jun 28, 2012 #3


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This helpful book gets referenced here a lot and purchasing it also helps Physics Forums.

  5. Jun 29, 2012 #4
    My vote is Malvino, I started my career with this book, I even got into analog IC design using the knowledge from this book:


    Cheap like dirt buying used. All these years, I still design circuit using a lot of what I learn from this book. It does not give you any advanced theory, it gives you the most import theory....the common sense theory. It is a very easy book to read. When I hire engineers before, I gave two or three questions almost straight out from the book, you'll be surprised how many of them failed!!!

    From that, you move onto advanced books.
  6. Jun 29, 2012 #5
    Once you understand the principles behind electronics, which as a physicist you probably already do, you can learn a lot from data books which are usually free. Contact the manufacturer's sales or application engineer and ask for them.

    Besides reading about the devices you're using, you should read the stuff at the beginning and end of the data books. From those sections you can learn a lot about how to get the maximum performance from the devices.
  7. Jun 30, 2012 #6


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    Gold Member

    My vote is for the US Navy Basic Electronics course. It's comprehensive, proven, and free to everyone:

    http://jricher.com/NEETS/ [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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