Introduction to electronics

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(Generally, this workshop is offered at least once a week on a rotating basis. Check the Lab calendar for up-to-date availability!)

Basics of Electricity and Electronics

To understand electronics one must first understand electricity. Electricity is the movement of electron wave fronts. There are three main quantities used in measuring electricity, those being, Voltage, Current, and Resistance.


volts or voltage are energy per charge, it is measured in either AC or DC, depending on the power source, its unit is V, and its variable is also V.


Current is charge per time, it is measured in amps, its unit is A, and its variable is I.


Resistance is the opposition to current flow, its unit is omega, and its variable is R

Equations and laws

The way Volts, Current, and Resistance are equated is through various laws. Some of those laws being Ohms law, Kirchhoff’s voltage law, Kirchhoff’s current law , and the voltage divider law.

        Ohms Law
                  V=IR and P=IV 
                   "V" volts 
                   "I" Current 
                   "R" Resistance 
                   "P" Power 
         This law equates volts, Current, Resistance, and Power
        Kirchhoff’s voltage law 
                 the sum of all the voltage is equal to 0 
        Kirchhoff’s current law
               the sum of the currents of currents at the node is equal to 0
               used when currents are split at a node.
        voltage divider law
         There is also rules for parallel resistors and resistors in series
                  Resistor in series add linearly 
                  Parallel Resistors 

Basics about Electronics

After understanding the basic laws and concepts of electricity and electronics you must also learn fundamental contextual ideas about electronics.

Complete circuit

A complete circuit is a system that allows energy to flow from the energy source to wherever it is needed then back to the energy source


a Light emitting diode a diode is a one way voltage control current valve which will only open in one direction depending on the amount of pressure emitted. Usually only requires 20mA to run.


Resistors are used in circuits to equalize the energy being outputted by a energy source and the thing receiving the energy. A typical system will draw no more than half an amp. Because resistors are universally necessary there is many kinds of resistors. Also as a general rule if the thing receiving the energy and the resistor are in series, they can be reordered but not reorientated.

Types of Resistors

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