Electronics and Electrical Theory (1 Viewer)

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)


Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor

These pages, or units, are a review of electronics based on laboratory experiments, with little purely theoretical work or comprehensive treatment of any topic. Nevertheless, most of the fundamental concepts of electronics are discussed and illustrated. The emphasis is on understanding. This is not a collection of electronics projects, and there is no emphasis on construction practices, though some construction may be interesting and valuable. There is no use of SPICE-like circuit calculations, which can also be informative, but is no substitute for prototyping and experimentation. An effort has been made to include interesting historical electronics, such as vacuum tubes and Nixie displays, which also furnishes a deeper understanding of the fundamentals. References are given to further information.

There is more here than can be put into a typical electronics course of 30 or 40 lectures, which should concentrate on the fundamentals. These are the nature of amplification (transistors, for example), feedback, stability, relaxation oscillators and phase-locked loops.

The author has taught electronics at university level, and has a rather low opinion of most of the courses and texts available. This is mainly the consequence of the instructors being instructors and researchers, not electronic engineers in anything but name, often leaving the laboratory in charge of a subordinate of limited knowledge and experience. The laboratory itself is often managed in that wonderful orderly fashion that makes it of limited usefulness and little fascination, characterized by set experiments and "writeups" that teach little, as well as by physical surroundings that are nothing like a real workbench. For learning electronics, however, the laboratory is absolutely essential. The only way to handle a laboratory, incidentally, is to assign to each student his own, lockable, bench. The way not to handle it is to "set up" benches in the laboratory in advance of each "experiment" and otherwise to pack everything away in a single storeroom.
James B. Calvert, Denver, Colorado, 2001
Woah! Aesome! I did not know that there was much to electricy other than positive and negative...
...can you pls send me a website that does worked examples of circuits ,and also receives circuits questions? tnks
A nice introduction to analog IC design:


You can download the book “Designing Analog Chips” (2005, 242 pages) by Hans Camenzind for free. Camenzind is the designer of the famous 555 timer IC.
Here’s a little gem for the advanced analog electronics enthusiast:

Some of you may know the application notes by analog electronics guru Jim Williams (he passed away this June). You can find some very interesting circuits there (if you already have a good knowledge of analog electronics, not so great for the beginner). Here is the list:


Professor Lundberg (who was a friend of Williams and is an expert on feedback control systems and analog circuit design) is currently writing a blog about this app notes, commenting each of them and pointing out the most interesting parts:


(You can ignore the “Scope Sunday” posts, unless you are a vintage oscilloscope fanatic too…)
Most of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science courses of MIT's Open Course Ware (OCW) http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/ are about computer science, but you can find some interesting courses on electronics too. There are some good course notes (though some of the profs simply tell you to buy their textbooks), exams with solutions and a few videos.
Simulation is one of the pillars of electronics design (next to theory and building prototypes). Many textbooks on analog electronics (even at the introductory level) include SPICE listings to let you “play” with the discussed circuits immediately. So it is a good idea to get familiar with SPICE as early as possible. If you have not yet decided about your favorite SPICE variant, try LTspice. It is freely available and has a lot of users who can help if you have questions.


The “Download LTspice IV” link (10 MB) is in the first box on the page, immediately followed by two guides that you should download too. (You will be asked if you want to register, but you can select “No thanks, just download the software”)

After installing and starting the program, choose File / Open. The file “astable” in the examples/Educational folder is a nice one to start with. After you see the schematic, choose Simulate / Run. If you now click on the nodes in the schematic in which you are interested, you will see their waveforms. Right-click on the components in the schematic to change their values and run the simulation again to observe the effects of your changes. The resulting netlist can be seen by choosing View / Spice Netlist.
Operational amplifiers are the ideal building block for analog circuits, it is normally much easier to design a circuit with them than to implement the same functionality with transistors. You can find some recommendations (introductions but also more advanced treatments) in http://www.wisewarthog.com/electronics/recommendations-op-amp-books.html The most popular of them is probably the free ebook „Op Amps for Everyone“ by Ron Mancini that you can download from Texas Instruments (see the link in the 2nd paragraph).
If you already know the theory and want to get some advice for building real circuits, you can get some good information from Analog Devices.

On this page you can search for it:

This page contains some commented links to the popular Analog Devices seminar notes:
“Op Amp Applications” by Jung and “Analog-Digital Conversion” by Kester are very good.
A good treatment of Digital Signal Processing, with a minimum of mathematics:
The Scientist and Engineer's Guide to Digital Signal Processing, by Stephen W. Smith:


You can view it online or download each chapter as pdf.
A good introduction to VHDL:

www.freerangefactory.org/dl/free_range_vhdl.pdf [Broken]

180 pages, 2.5 MB pdf, 2011, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Unported License
Last edited by a moderator:
"ANALOG SEEKrets" by Leslie Green, 588 pages, 2007, 9.2 MB


This book is very interesting if you have theoretical knowledge of electronics but not enough practical experience. In the authors words:

"ANALOG SEEKrets (DC to daylight) is a text book for senior under-graduate electronics designers and final-year physics students taking an electronics option. It will also be useful to recent graduates who seek increased skill in the field of electronics design.Even seasoned "digital engineers" will benefit from the analog insights presented in this book"

And just in case you wonder, downloading it is perfectly legal:

"The paperback is now out of print....I have therefore decided to release this book in PDF form. This makes the data available to everyone who cares to look. Hopefully many satisfied readers will then make a financial contribution to the author via PayPal, logbook@lineone.net, even for as little as $3.Please do not feel obligated to contribute (or guilty if you do not) if you are a student, retired or unemployed."

Looking for some help if possible. My normal studies I am coping with(just) in what I would say normal scenarios with resistors etc . But now I am looking for a stepping stone to try and answer the paper at the end ( see attachment). It involves impedance a and complex numbers
As you can see from my worked example it's just not the same hence if someone has an example that's in between would be great.


The Physics Forums Way

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving