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GROB’ S BASIC ELECTRONICS
by Mitchel Schultz
The objective of this course is to provide to provide an understanding of both analog and digital electronics through both analysis and through lab investigation. Electronics is essential for experimental physics since electrical devices are used in nearly all measurements, so if you want to build or understand an experiment, this should be a useful course. Many experiments are dominated by digital data acquisition, so knowledge of how analog signals are converted to digital signals and then subsequently processed by digital circuits in computers is very important. Also keep in mind that electronics can be found in almost every aspect of our lives, so what you learn can be applied to many other fields outside of physics!
In P400/540 we are making an effort to combine useful parts of analog and digital electronics, and in general make it useful more as “electronics as applied in an research physics laboratory or in industy”. The course will emphasize electronic circuit design and scientific measurements. Given the time constraints, it will not cover traditional electrical engineering topics such as network theory, the h-parameter model, the Laplace s-plane (i.e., working in frequency space), solid state physics, etc. It will therefore, as quoted by the authors of the text, “combine the pragmatic approach of the practicing physicist with the quantitative approach of the engineer”. Due to this approach, the course may thus appear more qualitative and wordy compared to other physics courses.
Material will be conveyed via a combination of traditional lectures, lab work, and homework problems.
This class has several goals:
- Learn the basics of electronics. You will learn not only how to understand circuits that other people have designed, but also how to design them yourself.
- Learn how to build and debug electrical circuits: to debug a circuit, you need to understand how the circuit should work if properly constructed. If your circuit doesn’t work at first (and this is much more the norm!), you will learn a lot by fixing it.
- Improve your skills working in a laboratory environment.