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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. 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.

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. 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.

The nonlinear behaviour of active components and their ability to control electron flows makes amplification of weak signals possible. 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.

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.

most electronic devices use semiconductor components to perform electron control.  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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Michael Faraday, FRS (September 22, 1791 – August 25, 1867) was an English chemist and physicist who contributed significantly to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. He established that magnetism could affect rays of light and that there was an underlying relationship between the two phenomena. It was largely due to his efforts that electricity became viable for use in technology. The SI unit of capacitance, the farad, is named after him, as is the Faraday constant, the charge on a mole of electrons (about 96,485 coulombs). Faraday's law of induction states that a magnetic field changing in time creates a proportional electromotive force.

Selected design

Credit: Old Radio, commons:User:Julo
Diagram of Pionier radio set (made in Poland since 1948).

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Credit: Tony R. Kuphaldt, User:Dna-webmaster
Basic telephony multiplexer system.


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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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ASIMO is a humanoid robot created by Honda Motor Company. The robot resembles a small astronaut wearing a backpack and can walk on two feet in a manner resembling human locomotion. ASIMO was created at Honda's Research & Development Wako Fundamental Technical Research Center in Japan. It is the current model in a line of eleven that began in 1986 with E0. As of 2002, there were 20 ASIMO units in existence. Each one costs less than $1 million to manufacture, and some units are available to be hired out for $150,000 per month.

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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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