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Problems with article
The article was getting slightly nonsensical and, well, idiotic. The definition was slightly wrong. There were a bunch of elementary school sentences. There were no counterexamples. About half of the sentences were irrelevant ("Ideal capacitors and inductors do not exist"). I rewrote it to be correct (this is a big one), properly referenced, and better (although not yet good). It's unfortunately unformatted (I'm not a normal Wikipedia contributor, so I don't know all the Wiki tags), and not properly wikified.
It needs some copyediting, although not as badly as the old one (which had shit like: "So they don't change the energy of the signal. Ideal capacitors and inductors however, do not exist. Real capacitors and inductors have resistance. But they are still passive components as they don't add energy to their input."). It could also use some good old fashioned dumbing down. It'd also be nice to copy the formulas from Wyatt's paper (referenced in the article) into the article (equation 3-1 and definition 11) to give a formal definition of passive and active. Lots of other definitions exist that try to say the same thing, incorrectly. This one is the most general. I don't know how to put math into the wiki. 188.8.131.52 22:04, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Response to note: The above user agrees it was inappropriate, and apologizes. 15:12, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
One more suggestion -- I would consider renaming this article "Passivity", and having both "Passive component" and "Active component" link to it. Having separate articles for passive and active seems redundant, since "active" just means "not passive." I suggest using the name passivity, since that is both standard in textbooks and literature on the topic, and since circuits (not just components) can be passive. 15:12, 21 May 2007 (UTC) 18:28, 21 May 2007.
Expand to include optical devices?
Will the passive component definition still be correct if it is expanded to include certain optical devices? In particular, a beam splitter, as used on a passive optical network, acts on a signal without increasing its power and without requiring the use of an outside power source in order to operate. This sounds just like other passive optical devices, only it uses light rather than electricity. However, I do not know for certain whether or not passive components necessarily must be electrical. If you happen to have seen the term "passive component" used in conjunction with optical components, or if you are an expert in this area, please join the discussion! Riick 20:52, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Passivity applies to all sorts of devices -- not just electrical. It is often employed in control systems to guarantee stability, where the system is mechanical and the controller digital. I know nothing about optics, so I do not know which optical devices are considered passive -- in some domains, passivity would likely depend on choice of variables (what would map to current and what would map to voltage in the circuits analogy). More importantly, if the term is useful in that context. If optical people do not use passivity, it doesn't make sense to talk about it in an encyclopedic article -- it would be better to expand on domains where people to talk about passivity. (Note: I'm logging in from 2 different IPs; I'm the same guy who did the big rewrite) 184.108.40.206 14:17, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
diodes are considered an Active component under the WIKI Electronic Components. Diodes are typically made from semiconductors or tubes, tho early versions were made from other materials.Wamnet 22:20, 7 April 2007 (UTC)