Electronics for Scientists
Text: there is no required textbook for this class. If you like quaint technology, like hardcopy books and stone tablets, then you might be interested in “An Introduction to Modern Electronics,” by William Faissler and published by Wiley in 1991, or “Basic Electronics: An Introduction to Electronics for Science Students,” by Curtis A. Meyer (lulu.com). Links to several sites that I find as useful as the traditional textbooks are
Electronic Circuit Theory
The first three sources are a set of web pages to specific topics. The lab manual is essential for class. Unfortunately, there is not a textbook that is both good (according to me), useful (according to past students), and covers material in a way that fits this course.
Course Objective: When you complete this course, you should be able to do simple circuit analysis, troubleshoot circuits, and design some simple circuits that are useful in the laboratory.
Grading: The grade that you earn in this course is determined by a combination of tests, homework, and classroom (laboratory) performance. There will be three tests. They will make up approximately 70 % of your grade. Homework and laboratory work will make up approximately 30% of your grade. Finally, your in class performance can affect your grade. This is a subjective determination and should be kept at a minimum. It can be very important if a student has a single bad test, for example. The grading scale is >85% = A, >70% = B, >60% = C, >50% = D.
Homework: Homework problems will be assigned throughout the semester.
Laboratory Work: Laboratory work will consist of experimental labs completed in room 217. Reports of results obtained from the laboratory exercises should contain the data in a reasonable format and answers to questions. Any additional observations are encouraged and expected when appropriate. Always use word processors, graphics packages, and printers capable of the quality available in 307C Moulton Hall. Data tables should be done on a computer for ease of reading and as practice for data presentations. Graphs should be done with graphics software. When preparing a graph or analyzing a data set do not assume the data is linear. This is a sure way to lose half of the credit for the report. Check with the instructor if you need some advice (you have already paid for it). Do not rely on sources that do not make policy. Be sure not to use linear fits to data unless appropriate. Spline fits and other numerical fits to data that do not originate from a theoretical prediction about your experimental results should be avoided as they are usually inappropriate. While you will work with a partner in the laboratory, you are expected analyze your data and prepare your report independently of your partner. Reports are due at 9:00 am on the first class day after finishing a laboratory experiment. As a general rule, avoid simple spreadsheet programs for graphs.
Attendance: Your attendance is expected and required at all class times and laboratory times. See the instructor for exceptions.
Prerequisites: Physics 111 is the prerequisite for this course. You will find the course extremely challenging if you have not had additional physics or math courses (Phy 217 and Mat 147, for example).
Course Outline: The following is a tentative list of material to be covered, homework problems, and laboratory exercises. The topics are correct, but the chapters and problems will be adjusted once the book has been finalized.
Final Note: You are responsible for any material covered in the class whether you are present or not present. Only your own work will contribute toward your grade. Networking devices and other personal electronic items should be turned off and placed out of sight during class. Their presence during tests will be treated as cheating. See the instructor for any exceptions. Sharing of calculators during class is discouraged and up to the discretion of the instructor. Phone calls and texting during class is not acceptable and the phones should be set to vibrate or turned off during class.