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Circuit courses for ME

  1. Feb 17, 2006 #1
    I am taking second part of the electrical circuit course (diodes, amps, transistors).

    I find circuits extremely annoying. For some reason, teachers never spend enough time to explain the circuits. My biggest problem is analyzing the circuits. I am just managing to get through the class, but I don't know much. A good deal of ME's I have talked to are not that fond of circuits also.

    I was wondering what you guys think.

    How was your experience with circuits? How did you study for your circuit class?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 17, 2006 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    I was a nuclear engineering student with a background in physics. I did the best I could, but I didn't necessarily find the material intuitive. The nuclear engineering program was fairly diverse, so in addition to the core nuclear engineering courses, we were required to take the core ME and EE courses, so we took the same introductory courses as the EE students.

    The key to circuits is Kirchhoff's laws (rules) for currents and voltages.


    Some examples of cirucits - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_circuit
    (Wikipedia is a good start, but I recommend other dedicated EE sites).

    http://theory.uwinnipeg.ca/physics/curr/node1.html - Kirchhoff's laws



    Also we have a homework section Engineering, Computer Science, & Technology - https://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=158 in which one can seek assistance on homework problems.
  4. Feb 21, 2006 #3
    Honestly kiddo, its not as obvious to us as it is the Electrical people. here the Civil, and Mechanical, and Manfacturing people have to take the ECE 210 Engineering Circuit Analysis.. it becomes more intuitive if you can picture an electron moving through the circuit... expand that to a string of electrons.. and imagine the circuit as a pathway of tunnels.. sort of like traffic.. when you have a junction part of the current goes in 1 direction, and part of it in another.. kind of like how traffic splits.. the things you calcuate basicall tell you how much of that traffic goes where...

    it helps me to think of the circuits this way because im a visual learner... i dont need any explanation.. just need to see a problem done and i can redo it on my own, or anything similar..
  5. Feb 23, 2006 #4
    Thanks Astronuc for your reply. I tried visiting the help center at my univ., it helped.
    Thanks Uncle.

    It seems like they pull things from no where. The book has one paragraph on Zener diodes and then they ask us almost everything on it.
  6. Feb 24, 2006 #5
    thanks uncle?
  7. Feb 28, 2006 #6
    I am in my first circuits class as an ME, its called Electronics and Instrumentation I. Its very easy, I don't see what's not to understand honestly. KVL and KCL are completely intuitive. If you studied hard in your first electronics class your second should not be too bad.
  8. Mar 1, 2006 #7
    cyrus when you get into 3-phase power and stuff.. it gets pretty advanced.. and for some of us who have never seen electrical circuits... thats tough because it is so new.. and in Circuits1 they dont go slow enough for us to pick it up here... again im a visual learner, and the types of problems you see in examples are always v=IR with 1 node etc... and then the homework will have 3-4 nodes.
  9. Mar 1, 2006 #8
    Why are you in a circuits course without ever seeing electric circuits? Isint physics 1,2,3 a prereq for the class. None of my problems have only 1 node, even the example problems are multi nodal with dependent/independent current sources. I think you just got stuck in a bad class for EE1 and now your in a real class for EE2 with no EE1 foundation.
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