Level 3 SyllabiPhysics Subject

PHYS3630 ELECTRONICS

Level 3 Physics course

3UOC

Information for Session 1, 2006

  • Lecturer: Professor John Storey, A/Prof Michael Ashley
  • Lecture times: Thursdays, noon – 1pm
  • Laboratory times: Thursdays 2 – 4pm.
  • Consultation times: anytime.

Brief Syllabus

Chopper DriverReview of op-amps, their characteristics and limitations; feedback; oscillators; noise and drift; field-effect transistors; digital circuits; D/A and A/D converters; modulation and communication systems; signal processing.

Assumed Knowledge

The course assumes a familiarity with basic electronics; i.e., passive components (resistors, capacitors and inductors), transistors and op-amps, together with simple AC and DC circuit theory.  Specifically, it is assumed that the student is familiar with and understands the following chapters from Horowitz and Hill The Art of Electronics (second edition):  1, 2, 4.00 – 4.10, 8.00 – 8.09. Students should be able to read circuit diagrams and analyse simple circuits such as transistor and op-amp amplifier circuits.  An ideal preparation for the course is PHYS2630.

Course Goals

The course begins with a review of simple op-amp circuits and their analysis via the two “golden rules”.  The limitations of op-amps are then studied in detail, both from a theoretical perspective and in a series of laboratory measurements.  The different types of op-amps are discussed, together with a brief introduction to the trade-offs encountered in selecting specific devices.

Op-amps are then used as a way to introduce the concept of negative feedback, followed by a theoretical analysis of the advantages of this technique.  In the laboratory, a simple experiment gives a dramatic illustration of how negative feedback can be used to reduce distortion.

Noise is studied both from a theoretical and a practical standpoint.  Johnson noise, shot noise and 1/f are introduced.

Field Effect Transistors are studied in the laboratory in parallel with lectures on their construction, theory of operation and typical applications.  Laboratory projects include construction of an “automatic volume control” which automatically varies the gain of an amplifier to keep the output level constant.

Several different types of oscillator are introduced and categorised.  In the laboratory, a range of simple oscillators are constructed and their performance analysed.

Digital concepts are reviewed in the lectures, followed by an introduction to Digital-to-Analog and Analog-to-Digital Converters (DACs and ADCs).  In the laboratory, a simple flash ADC is constructed to illustrate the principle.

The different modulation schemes (AM, FM, SSB, etc) used in radio communication are introduced by way of a lecture demonstration.  A theoretical analysis of the modulation process is conducted.  This leads to an introduction to the digital modulation techniques that form the basis for modern mobile phones, computer modems etc.

The lecture course concludes with a discussion of lock-in detection and bandwidth narrowing techniques. If time permits, a lecture demonstration will be used to illustrate the power of lock-in detection by showing how a feeble light source on the other side of the room can be reliably detected even in the presence of fluctuating ambient lighting.

The final laboratory-based component involves the construction of a small electronic circuit to give an introduction to modern electronic construction techniques.  Starting with a circuit diagram, students create a printed circuit board (PCB) layout using a computer-aided design package.  The PCB is then fabricated in our own Electronic Workshop using a chemical-free high-speed milling process.  After instruction in the art of soldering, students then complete the device and fit it into a small box – the finishing touch being a front-panel label of their own design.

Learning Objectives

This course aims to provide both a theoretical background to electronics and sufficient hands-on practice to give students confidence in understanding, designing, building and trouble-shooting electronic circuits.  These skills will be invaluable whether your career leads into experimental research or industry, and in understanding why and how the “electronics revolution” has been so effective and complete.

A sample exam is given here.

Two assignments are given each year, examples are shown here.

Why is electronics important?

To answer this question, simply count the number of ways that electronics has influenced your life already today.

How to succeed - Strategies for Learning

Electronics is a bit like riding a horse – some theory is essential but there is no substitute for experience.  Students are encouraged to “tinker” in the laboratory and design their own circuits and modifications.  You may be able to convince yourself – and even your lecturer – that you understand something but, in the end, if the circuit you build doesn’t work the way you want it to, you still have something to learn!

In the laboratory, students may choose to work in pairs or individually.  The construction project at the end of the session is usually done in pairs, although two devices are constructed to that each student can complete their own.

Assessment

  • Examination: 40%
  • Assignment 1: 10%
  • Assignment 2: 10%
  • Laboratory: 40%

For rules regarding academic honesty, etc, see the School website here.

Resources

Textbook - “The Art of Electronics” Second edition
P. Horowitz and W. Hill (Cambridge University Press, 1989)

Additional References
To be advised

Those students having difficulties should consult the lecturer for help. Further information on student support services may be found on the School website here.

Detailed Syllabus

Week

Lecture

HH Chapter

Laboratory

       

1

Op Amps

4.11-4.13

No Laboratory

2

Feedback

4.25

Introduction

3

Feedback

4.26

Op-Amps

4

Noise & Drift

7.11-7.15

Feedback

5

Fets

3.00-3.13

Fets I

6

Oscillators

5.12 – 5.17

Fets II

7

Digital

8.14 – 8.26

Catch Up

8

Digital

8.27 – 8.37

Oscillators I

9

Digital

9.00 – 9.03

Oscillators II

10

A/D

9.15-9.23

Digital

11

A/D

9.24-9.26

Catch up

12

Modulation

13.14-13.20

Project

13

Signal processing

9.27-9.40

Project

14

Signal processing

15.01-15.19

Project

Further Information

For more information about PHYS3630 contact:

John W.V. Storey

last updated 1st February 2011


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