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Why Are Circuits so Complicated?

  1. Dec 2, 2013 #1
    Circuits are used to get electricity to the right conditions needed for a certain product, this I know. But, why are there so many resistors, capacitors, integrated circuits and transistors instead of one of each to get the electricity to the right voltage, current, etc. I know this is probably a very dumb question but I just joined and I'm here to learn as much as I can. Especially in electrical engineering and electronics because it's really interesting but I don't know where to start with understanding electrical appliances and electronics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2013 #2


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    In order to understand this, you have to make at least a cursory study first of the individual components such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes and transistors and then at least a cursor study of basic circuits. When you have done that you will have answered your question.

    The short answer is "because they do so many different things and because the only way to do those things is to use the components needed".

    For example, try designing a simple flat-DC output power supply by converting 120V AC wall power to, say, 10v DC. Try doing this with no diodes. Try doing it with no inductor (transformer). Try doing it with no capacitors. Doesn't work, now does it?
  4. Dec 2, 2013 #3
    Thanks for that it makes sense. Is there anywhere I can go that you would recommend to get a basic feel for circuits and their components?
  5. Dec 2, 2013 #4


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    More complicated circuits means more interesting/useful things they can do. So circuits are made as complicated as we can make them.
  6. Dec 2, 2013 #5


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    I understand what you are saying, russ, but I disagree in one regard. I think we make circuits as SIMPLE as we possibly can, but when doing complex things, that isn't necessarity very simple. If we made them as complicated as we can make them, then we would just design the minimal circuit and add a bunch of useless extras.
  7. Dec 2, 2013 #6


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    I've been away from electrical engineering for about 40 years so don't know what good resources are today but I'm very sure the Internet will turn up good stuff if you just Google "basic electronic circuits".
  8. Dec 2, 2013 #7
    I'm not sure how good they are but for dummies has books on both circuits and their components. You can just look it up on Google
  9. Dec 2, 2013 #8
    I remember I got this same feeling as a youngster the first time I looked at the innards of a TV, so much stuff in there! What is it all for?

    Let me offer up an mechanical analogy: Consider a car factory, which you can imagine consists of thousands of square feet of machines, and let me rephrase your question in that vein...

    "Machines are used to get parts to the right places needed for a car. Why are there so many pulleys, levers, screws instead of one of each to get the parts to the right places to make a car?

    A TV is kind of like a car factory in this sense, many individual things need to happen to get the broadcast from the antenna to the screen & speaker and there are circuits in place to take care of each of these things.
  10. Dec 3, 2013 #9
    Here's one place to start -- http://www.101science.com/Radio.htm#1
  11. Dec 3, 2013 #10


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    mousecop, Welcome to Physics Forums.

    Some folks spend a lifetime in electronics and they continually learn new things. Start with the basic fundamentals, and continue onward and upward, if you care to.

    “This tutorial is a brief introduction to the concepts of charge, voltage, and current. This tutorial is not as long and tedious as a college textbook, yet it contains more information than students are likely to find in an elementary schoolbook.”

    I first learned electronics in Navy schools, so I am a little biased. So, if anyone is serious about learning electricity and electronics, this free downloadable book is the best choice possible!
    “Here is the "Electricity - Basic Navy Training Courses" (NAVPERS 10622) in its entirety (or will be eventually). It should provide one of the Internet's best resources for people seeking a basic electricity course - complete with examples worked out (links to quizzes at end of chapters).
    Electricity - Basic Navy Training Courses
    NAVPERS 10622
    This book is intended as a basic reference for all enlisted men of the Navy whose duties require them to have a knowledge of the fundamentals of electricity.”
    http://www.rfcafe.com/references/electrical/Electricity%20-%20Basic%20Navy%20Training%20Courses/electricity%20-%20basic%20navy%20training%20courses.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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