Electro-electrics is a branch in physics and electrical engineering which deals with electronics and its effect. Electronics use active devices to regulate electrons by amplification or correction that differentiates the technology of classical electrical engineering. It only uses passive effects — like resistance capacitance or inductance — to control currents.
Electronics courses are in high demand. There are various markets that hire engineers and scientists with electronics degrees. Electronics engineering courses are in high demand.
There are a lot of sub-branches in electronics that are highly sought after. For example VLSI, IoT, robotics, chip design, etc. The electronics branch in engineering is said to be an evergreen branch since it is always required by society.
The course can be EEE (Electronics and Electrical Engineering) and ECE (Electronics and Communication Engineering). In the ECE, along with electronics, communication technologies are also studied as they are closely connected.
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History and development
Electrons were discovered in 1897 by J. J. Thomson. For the first time, Vacuum tubes were used for amplification in 1907. Diodes were invented in the early 1900s, the same time as vacuum tubes mainly as a radio receivers.
Indian scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose was the first to use semiconductor crystals to detect radio waves. Vacuum tubes were extensively used in the first half of the 20th century. Transistor’s invention in 1947 revolutionized the field of electronics as well as the World. Still, vacuum tubes were highly useful in various applications until the 1980s.
However, the Bipolar Junction Transistors were difficult to mass produce. The invention of MOSFET in 1959, made mass production and miniaturization feasible. MOSFET revolutionized the electronics industry again. It is the most common type of transistor found in most devices.
What is Electronics?
Electronics can be called a branch of physics and technology that deals with the design and development of devices that function by the controlled flow of electrons.
In physics, it is the branch that deals with the emission, behavior, and effects of electrons on materials.
Electronic devices are the devices that function due to the controlled flow of electrons/electric current leading to properties like information processing.
Electronics are mainly said to be dealing with designing and building circuits.
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Jobs in Electronics
There is a range of jobs available for a person holding an electronics degree. They include electronics engineers, electrical engineers, Design engineers, CAD technicians, Avionics engineers, instrumentation engineers, Control engineers, etc.
The persons holding electronics engineering can find jobs in a variety of other positions such as Management consultant, project manager, technical and sales engineer, etc. The people who do electronics can also use their expertise in different fields other than engineering.
Courses in Electronics
There are various electronics courses related to the various sub-fields. Common examples include Linear circuits, Power Electronics, Computer architecture, Semiconductor devices, Embedding sensors and motors, Digital systems, Analog electronics, etc.
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Electronics are sensitive devices that need to be carefully packaged. There shouldn’t be any damage to the electronics such as mechanical damage, thermal damage, electrostatic and electromagnetic interference.
There are different levels of electronic packaging. Packaging of electronics that may endure extreme conditions, such as the military equipment or electronics used in space probes/spacecraft.
There are also other factors that need to be taken into account when packaging electronics cost and production optimization, suppliers’ availability, regulatory and environmental standards to be followed, the service life of the device, and quality.
Computer-aided design (CAD)
Computer-Aided Design is used to design different products by engineers. If it is used to design electronic devices, it is known as ECAD. The design of electronics can be extremely complex.
The design can go up to the atomic level. So the factors to be taken into account during design are very important. It is also useful in running simulations of electronic devices before getting manufactured. The availability of Computer-aided design drove the rapid development in the field of electronics.
Electronic devices and components
Electronic devices consist of various small components that are connected in a circuit. The common components are microcontrollers, batteries, relays, switches, circuit breakers, etc. The electronic components can be broadly classified into active and passive components.
Active components control the flow of electric current in the circuit, whereas passive components do not control the flow of electric current. Transistors and rectifiers are examples of active components. Passive components include resistor, inductor, and capacitor.
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The theory of electronics starts from a few basic components. Some of the important concepts in learning electronics are current, resistance, capacitance, conductors, semiconductors, diode and transistor operations, noise, quality factor, signals, amplification, etc.
The materials can be classified into conductors, semiconductors, and insulators. Conductors facilitate the flow of electric current, whereas insulators obstruct it. Semiconductors allow the current to pass in very minute quantities, but its conductivity can be varied by using doping techniques.
Most of the electronic components used today utilize semiconductors. The most widely used transistor is the MOSFET.
Noise in electronics is an unwanted disturbance in the signal. Various effects can be responsible for the noise. While noise is mostly disadvantageous, it can be useful for a few applications.
Noise can be generated inside the electronic device by the device itself or from external sources. At non-zero temperatures, there is always thermal noise. Due to random statistical fluctuations of the electric current, there is shot noise. When current divides into two or more paths inside a circuit, there is partition noise.
Flicker noise is due to the higher frequencies in the spectrum. Burst noise is due to sudden upping o downing of voltages or current.
Electronic systems design
Electronics systems design is a sub-field of electronics that deals with the designing of complex electronic devices. This field also takes into account all the issues that could come in designing and during the service life of the electronic device.
They study system architecture and protection requirements, analysis regarding reliability, management of thermal issues, following standards, environmental standards, etc.
Every electronics course involves practicals. Practical knowledge of the working of electronic devices is extremely important when you are going to make a career in electronics.
The devices in an electronic lab will depend on the course. For a basic electronics lab, the basic components of electronics are required. If the subject is advanced, then much-sophisticated equipment may be needed.
To experiment in electronics labs a person will need certain skills. They are an understanding of the working of basic electronic components, ability to create and analyze circuits, safety guidelines to be followed, operating currents and voltages for the electronic components, ability to do programming if it is required, etc.
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Heat dissipation and thermal management
Every electronic component requires some kind of thermal management as they produce heat while operating. Various techniques are used for heat dissipation and thermal management in electronic devices.
Fans can be used to cool components as in a computer CPU, thermoelectric materials can be used, and heat pipes and forced air systems can be used. A cold plate can be used to transfer heat from the electronics to the cooling fluid.
Convective cooling is also used for components wherein cool air is allowed inside and warm air is sent out since it is lighter.
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Types of circuits
There are five main types of electric circuits. They are closed circuits, open circuits, short circuits, series circuits, and parallel circuits.
Present-day branches of electronics
The branches of electronics now are digital, analog, microelectronics, circuit design, power electronics, IC design, optoelectronics, nano, bioelectronics, etc.
In analog circuits, the current or voltage is a continuously variable signal. Here the signal takes a range of values in contrast to digital signals which only take two states high and low. Analog signals always consist of noise produced by various factors.
If the signal is transmitted and retransmitted across long distances, there will be more and more noise and hence signals will be degraded. The information is processed and decoded in different ways in analog systems compared to digital systems.
A digital circuit is made of different types of logic gates. In a logic circuit, there can be only two values of signal, 0 and 1. This can be seen when the voltage across a junction is high or low.
Examples of digital circuits are encoders, decoders, multiplexers, demultiplexers, half and full adders, etc. Digital circuits are used in a variety of applications such as mobile phones, calculators, computers, etc.
Digital circuits don’t suffer from the noise caused by various factors that can be seen in an analog circuit. Digital circuits allow the transmission and storage of large amounts of data in the form of bits and bytes.
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