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The Electronics portal

Surface-mount electronic components

Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter.

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.

The identification of the electron in 1897, along with the invention of the vacuum tube, which could amplify and rectify small electrical signals, inaugurated the field of electronics and the electron age.

Commonly, electronic devices contain circuitry consisting primarily or exclusively 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.

Electrical and electromechanical science and technology deals with the generation, distribution, switching, storage, and conversion of electrical energy to and from other energy forms (using wires, motors, generators, batteries, switches, relays, transformers, resistors, and other passive components). 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.

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.

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Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck (April 23, 1858 – October 4, 1947) was a German physicist. He is considered to be the founder of quantum theory, and therefore one of the most important physicists of the twentieth century. In 1894 Planck turned his attention to the problem of black-body radiation. By interpolating between Wien's law[disambiguation needed] and the Rayleigh–Jeans law, Planck found the famous Planck black-body radiation law, which described the experimentally observed black-body spectrum very well. The discovery of Planck's constant enabled him to define a new universal set of physical units (such as the Planck length and the Planck mass), all based on fundamental physical constants.

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Credit: User:Ilmari Karonen
A diagram of a Möbius resistor showing the current flow.

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August 14, 2014

512K Day arrives, surpassing some routers capacity, breaking the internet. More...

November 19, 2008

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) said that repairing the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will cost up to 16.6 million or US$21 million. More...

April 30, 2008

HP Labs announces the creation of a Memristor, the fourth basic element of electronic circuits with the Resistor, Capacitor, and Inductor.

December 4, 2007

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On the third day of the 2007 Taipei IT Month in Taiwan yesterday, notebook computers and desktop computers built with AMD's Phenom processor and Intel Penryn processor openly battled for the consumer-market after each company launched their quad core processors. More...

February 27, 2007

The new South Pole Telescope has recently collected its first light in a long-term project to learn about the nature of dark energy. More...

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An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that diagnoses and treats cardiac arrest by re-establishing an effective heart rhythm. This treatment is called defibrillation, which applies an electric shock to the entire heart muscle, uniformly clearing the electrical activity of the heart, hopefully allowing it to resynchronize. Defibtech, Cardiac Science, Philips (Heartstart), Zoll and Physio-Control cater specifically to this market.

Selected article

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An antenna or aerial is an arrangement of aerial electrical conductors designed to transmit or receive radio waves which is a class of electromagnetic waves. In other words, antennas basically convert radio frequency electrical currents into electromagnetic waves and vice versa. Antennas are used in systems such as radio and television broadcasting, point-to-point radio communication, radar, and space exploration. Antennas usually work in air or outer space, but can also be operated under water or even through soil and rock at certain frequencies for short distances.

Physically, an antenna is an arrangement of conductors that generate a radiating electromagnetic field in response to an applied alternating voltage and the associated alternating electric current, or can be placed in an electromagnetic field so that the field will induce an alternating current in the antenna and a voltage between its terminals. Some antenna devices (parabola, horn antenna) just adapt the free space to another type of antenna.


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