University of Alberta
Department of Physics
Electronics is one of the fastest expanding fields in research, application development and commercialization. Substantial growth in the field has occured due to World War II, the invention of the transistor, the space program, and now, the computer industry. The research grants are high, jobs are available and there is much money to be made in areas related to electronics. With the beginning of the ``information superhighway'' and computerized video coming to your home, it is hard to imagine that electronics will not continue to expand in the future. Electronics is everywhere in our lives.
It is difficult for the practicing engineer to stay informed of the most recent developments in electronics. What is taught in this course could well be out of date by the time you actually go to use it. However the physical concepts of circuit behavour will be largely applicable to any future development.
The approach to electronics taken in this course will be a mixture of physical concepts and design principles. The course will thus appear more qualitative and wordy compared to other physics courses. Nevertheless, it is hoped that this course will become a useful tool for your future physics laboratories and research.
We can not begin to scratch the surface of the field of electronics in a one term course. Rather than cover a few topics in detail you will be exposed to most of the concepts and areas of design. The knowledge you gain will hopefully allow you to communicate with design engineers and technicians to enable them to design and build the electronics you require. You should also be equipped to pursue any area of electronics that may interest you in the future. This will include reading more detailed texts, the component data sheets and manuals. As well as, understanding the popular literature, including manuals for your stereo, computer, etc.. But above all I hope you find electronics interesting and enjoyable.