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Need a good circuits textbook

  1. Jan 7, 2009 #1
    Hey all, I know this is similar to one of my other threads in the past, but I thought the situation is different enough to warrant a new thread.

    Basically, my first EE course (on introductory E&M and introductory circuits) is starting and 2 textbooks are required for it. The book required for E&M looks fine, it's just selected chapters from Haliday & Resnick. However, the chosen textbook for the circuits part of the course is "Basic Engineering Circuit Analysis" by Irwin and Nelms.

    According to many reviews (and past talks with upper years), this book is horrible for learning circuits (I drew this conclusion from reading this: http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Enginee...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231367836&sr=1-1). Now I am an EE student, and I don't want to start hating circuits because this book is so frustrating. What would you recommend in this case? Another (well-known and respected) book on this subject, perhaps? And if so, which book is recommended for a basic circuits course?

    I have attached my lecture outline schedule - the lecture #11 is when the circuits stuff begins.

    My only worry is that other textbooks may not follow the content and style of the assigned textbook, leading to missing details from the core knowledge that the professors expect us to have by reading the assigned textbook.


    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 7, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Not sure that it matches the outline perfectly, but a good intro circuits text that's easy to read is the AofE by H&H. We talk about one aspect of the book in this thread in the EE forum:


    If you had time, it would be good to read the AofE cover-to-cover (it's a pretty easy read), which woould give you a good baseline to learn from the other book. If you don't have time, check it out at the library, and compare it to the circuits book that's the required text, to see if it complements it or not.
  4. Jan 7, 2009 #3
    It doesn't really strike me as an *introductory* circuits book, more of a text on applying the knowledge of circuits for practicing engineering/scientists. Am I wrong?
  5. Jan 7, 2009 #4
    I second Art of Electronics. Brilliant book and quite funny. The style is a lot how I would like Physics books and papers to be in general (motivating, understandable, amusing), but we seem to get further and further away from that.
  6. Jan 7, 2009 #5
    I think there aren't many theoretical concepts involved for all topic after Magnetism. You just going to use some techniques (nodal or mesh) to solve the circuits for dc and ac. It's much more like any math course.

    So, I would say choose a book that has good amount of quality questions rather than big explanations (You can go as deep as you wish but it would be irrelevant in this course). I used "J. W. Nilsson and S. A. Riedel, Electric Circuits" and it is a good book with quality questions but lacks quantity (if I remember correctly).
  7. Jan 7, 2009 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    It was the intro EE circuits text at MIT for a number of years. I found it on a collegues' bookshelf when we both worked at HP as fairly new graduates. It answered a lot of basic practical circuit questions for me, so I bought a copy and read it cover-to-cover. Fun read, and very useful for me.
  8. Jan 8, 2009 #7
    Trust me, Irwin is a very decent book -- the problems are appropriately challenging and vary in difficulty. It was not required for my class, but it made me ace the final exam for its excellent treatment of power.
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