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Portal:Electronics

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Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active devices to control electron flow by amplification and rectification, which distinguishes it from classical electrical engineering which uses passive effects such as resistance, capacitance and inductance to control current flow.

Electronics has had a major effect on the development of modern society. The identification of the electron in 1897, along with the subsequent invention of the vacuum tube which could amplify and rectify small electrical signals, inaugurated the field of electronics and the electron age. This distinction started around 1906 with the invention by Lee De Forest of the triode, which made electrical amplification of weak radio signals and audio signals possible with a non-mechanical device. Until 1950, this field was called "radio technology" because its principal application was the design and theory of radio transmitters, receivers, and vacuum tubes.

The term "solid-state electronics" emerged after the first working transistor was invented by William Shockley, Walter Houser Brattain and John Bardeen at Bell Labs in 1947. The MOSFET (MOS transistor) was later invented by Mohamed Atalla and Dawon Kahng at Bell Labs in 1959. The MOSFET was the first truly compact transistor that could be miniaturised and mass-produced for a wide range of uses, revolutionizing the electronics industry, and playing a central role in the microelectronics revolution and Digital Revolution. The MOSFET has since become the basic element in most modern electronic equipment, and is the most widely used electronic device in the world.

Electronics is widely used in information processing, telecommunication, and signal processing. The ability of electronic devices to act as switches makes digital information-processing possible. Interconnection technologies such as circuit boards, electronics packaging technology, and other varied forms of communication infrastructure complete circuit functionality and transform the mixed electronic components into a regular working system, called an electronic system; examples are computers or control systems. An electronic system may be a component of another engineered system or a standalone device. most electronic devices use semiconductor components to perform electron control. Commonly, electronic devices contain circuitry consisting of active semiconductors supplemented with passive elements; such a circuit is described as an electronic circuit. Electronics deals with electrical circuits that involve active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes, integrated circuits, optoelectronics, and sensors, associated passive electrical components, and interconnection technologies. The nonlinear behaviour of active components and their ability to control electron flows makes amplification of weak signals possible.

The study of semiconductor devices and related technology is considered a branch of solid-state physics, whereas the design and construction of electronic circuits to solve practical problems come under electronics engineering. This article focuses on engineering aspects of electronics. (Full article...)

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Count Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (February 18, 1745 - March 5, 1827) was an Italian physicist known especially for the development of the electric battery in 1800. In 1775 he devised the electrophorus, a device that produced a static electric charge. In 1776-77 he studied the chemistry of gases, discovered methane, and devised experiments such as the ignition of gases by an electric spark in a closed vessel. In 1881 an important electrical unit, the volt, was named in his honor. The Toyota Alessandro Volta is named after Volta. Volta Crater on the Moon is also named after him.

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Common circuit elements.

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Electrical engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. The field first became an identifiable occupation in the late nineteenth century with the commercialization of the electric telegraph and electrical power supply. The field now covers a range of sub-disciplines including those that deal with power, optoelectronics, digital electronics, analog electronics, computer science, artificial intelligence, control systems, electronics, signal processing and telecommunications.

The term electrical engineering may or may not encompass electronic engineering. Where a distinction is made, electrical engineering is considered to deal with the problems associated with large-scale electrical systems such as power transmission and motor control, whereas electronic engineering deals with the study of small-scale electronic systems including computers and integrated circuits.

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An electric fence is a barrier that uses painful or even lethal high-voltage electric shocks to deter animals or people from crossing a boundary. The concept of the electric fence was first described in Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, in 1889, as a defensive weapon. Electric fences were used to control stock in the United States in the early 1930s, and developed further in both the United States and New Zealand. Electric fences have improved significantly since the early days. Improvements include: Polyethylene insulators, improvements in electrical design of the charger, and changes in laws.

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