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My class schedule, question about Circuit Analysis

  1. Jun 17, 2012 #1
    Calculus 3
    Physics 2
    US History and the World
    Circuit Analysis

    I seen my friends struggle in Calculus 3, only to realize it was because of a poor foundation in the previous Calcs. They said Physics 2 was harder than 1 but more enjoyable in the lab. The history class is what i expect from any history class. My question is circuit analysis, has anyone had this class or know someone who had it? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2012 #2
    The first course in Circuit Analysis is quite easy. Its very systematic in solving things. You take a circuit and apply KVL/KCL rules which result in a system of equations which you can solve using whichever method you like best. You'll learn some other tricks and such to maybe simplify this process for some circuits. If you have capacitors and inductors you'll end up with a system of linear differential equations. There are tricks to deal with this as well (phasor analysis which uses complex numbers) and integral transformations which you probably won't see in the first course of circuit analysis.

    The hardest part is being neat and not missing tiny mistakes and to develop an intuition to reduce the amount of work you have to do.
  4. Jun 17, 2012 #3
    Is it kinda like Network Flow problems from Linear Algebra, but with circuits?
  5. Jun 17, 2012 #4
    Circuit analysis might be difficult before you've had differential equations, but if you work at it and pay attention, you will probably be fine.
  6. Jun 17, 2012 #5
    The per-requistes for the course is just calc 2 and concurrency of physics 2. Why would I need to know differential equations?
  7. Jun 17, 2012 #6
    Laplace transforms come up a lot, and you will be solving second order ODEs when you encounter RLC circuits. That being said, if the prereqs don't demand it, the class is probably fairly self contained. I took Circuits after I was exposed to Diff Eqs, and it made the class very easy and understandable.
  8. Jun 17, 2012 #7
    Interesting, guess I'll have to hit the books then!
  9. Jun 17, 2012 #8
    If you do circuit analysis in the time domain for RLC circuits then you'll encounter a linear differential equation. The good thing is that there will only be 2 forms of this equations and the method of solving them is pretty simple and could be taught easily.

    Laplace and Fourier Analysis is usually seen first in differential equation class but my circuit analysis courses taught them as if you've never seen them before. If you're class doesnt require the prereq I wouldnt worry about it (Mind did and I wouldn't call it a significant advantage).

    I'm unfamillar with what a network flow problem is but wikipedia says "Flows can pertain to people or material over transportation networks, or to electricity over electrical distribution systems. For any such physical network, the flow coming into any intermediate node needs to equal the flow going out of that node. This conservation constraint was formalized as Kirchhoff's current law."

    ...so yea ^_^ (my linear algebra class had basic circuits as application problems)
  10. Jun 18, 2012 #9
    Ok, well I've had a taste of what circuit analysis is going to be. I'm glad that the DE part will be taught as if we never seen it before, because I think I seen some DE stuff in my calculus book, but never covered it in depth.

    Thanks for your reply!
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