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[Portal] Electronics

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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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.

Selected design

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Credit: commons:User:PACO
Schematic of a monostable multivibrator.

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Credit: User:Fastfission
MRI sections through the Z-axis in a normal human adult.

News

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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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The Simputer is a self-contained, handheld computer, designed for use in environments where computing devices such as personal computers are deemed inappropriate. Due to the low cost, it was also deemed appropriate to bring computing power to the developing countries. The device was designed by the Simputer Trust. It includes text-to-speech software and runs the GNU/Linux operating system.

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Electromagnetism is the physics of the electromagnetic field; a field encompassing all of space which exerts a force on particles that possess the property of electric charge, and is in turn affected by the presence and motion of those particles. The magnetic field is produced by the motion of electric charges, i.e. electric current. The magnetic field causes the magnetic force associated with magnets.

The term "electromagnetism" comes from the fact that electrical and magnetic forces are involved simultaneously. A changing magnetic field produces an electric current (this is the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction, which provides for the operation of electrical generators, induction motors, and transformers). Similarly, a changing electric field generates a magnetic field. Because of this interdependence of the electric and magnetic fields, it makes sense to consider them as a single coherent entity — the electromagnetic field.

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