UNC-CH P&A Classes Physics and Astronomy

Physics 351 (Electronics I) ----- 11am, TTh ----- Phillips 265 (Labs in 116)

Phys351 is required for all BSc students in physics & astronomy, as well as for BA students doing the Energy option in physics.
Of course all who are interested in decipering or designing electrical circuits will find the course to be useful.

Sean Washburn, 962 9382,         sean@physics.unc.edu,                 Office 351 Chapman
Office hours: (Most) Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10-1045. (but stop by or email for an appt, if you need it)

Suggested Text: Principles of Electronics (LR Fortney). This book has important errata.
Note: Any recent book may be used, but topics order, depth, and content vary dramatically.
Some resources on reserves list from sakai (Paper books in the undergrad library): are here.
Supplementary site (in case the one above bonks: Schaum's Outlines, Horowitz&Hill, ...
Mathematical formulae: Dwight (QA310.D5), Prudnikov (QA308.P7813)

PDFs of lecture slides and lab manual sections are available here.

Exams: about 4 problems on midterms; closed book but open notes (lecture slides and anything hand written)
and approved calculators (not needed usually)
Grades: approximately 10% hw problems (only spot grading of these), 40% lab reports and 50% exams


Before we start, here is a sure strategy to get the best grade possible -- it never fails:

  1. Read the book and lecture slides before class.
  2. Do all the problems you can find. If you don't understand the concepts, doing problems will help to clarify them.
  3. Do problems from other books, too. Schaum's Outlines are helpful resources.
  4. Once you understand the important concepts, think about the ways the equations represent them and can be manipulated.
  5. Think about the over-all structure of the concepts in the chapter: see the big picture.

A longer version of the same strategy, which is part three of a good essay on how to think about your education and professional career.

Although the material is challenging and the pace of the course is fast, my intent is that you all pass with good grades.
So if you feel a little overwhelmed, please ask me or some trusted and knowledgeable source for help.
In my case you have already paid for the help, so make sure to get your money's worth.


Mathematical skills that are useful:
Second order ordinary differential equations, Fourier expansions, elementary linear algebra, Laplace transforms, Boolean logic
(All will be introduced as practical skills as needed with no background, so don't worry if you are not expert already.)

Syllabus and schedule,

Syllabus for all sections of the Lab exercises,

Watch this little youtube about what it means to learn to be an engineer.

Tutorials for Multisim (not always the recent version) may be found here and here. Free circuit simulator that is good enough for many of the MultiSim exercises.

Pin-outs and datasheets for some ICs, General IC reference for specs, etc, Every device datasheet in the known universe,

Device properties, manuals, soldering lessons, etc  

Video tutorials including elementary material.

Simple tutorials covering most of the concepts and circuit elements. Course Notes with some useful simulations of transistors, diodes, etc. (some broken links) Simple tutorials with video lectures, wikiBook on electronics.
On line course at MIT (including taped lectures),
On line course at Berkeley (Freshman course so more elementary explanations),
Analog electronics electronic book,
and a digital Digital Electronics book
or youse can read a whole EE library,
Very detailed course in practical electronics from USN.
Brief survey of semiconductor device physics.



Circuit tutorials with "interactive" digital examples,
Charge-flow circuit simulator (right click to change circuits or to build your own), or see a better version on a commercial website (Chrome browser only)
electronics circuit analysis
MatLab for electronics,

MatLab tutorial , but there are many more available
PDF with a tutorial on solving ODEs and some linear algebra techniques (800kB),

Short illustrated tutorial on good soldering (WEAR THE SAFETY GLASSES!)

From the ti.com site:

Long (!) PDF file on designing OpAmp circuits;
Sallen-Key filters,
and oscillators.


Some notes on active filter design with s-plane maps.,

Delta-Sigma applet that helps to demystify the way this A/D works. Slide the input voltage up and down and look at the ratio of ones to zeros in the conversion.
Elegant demo of Delta-Sigma conversion where Jeri Ellsworth (a) has her own electron microscope in her garage, and (b) does the conversion and play back with nothing but a single D-flipflop and some RC filters/integrators on the input and output.

How to make a transistor from a block of silicon Java cartoons to illustrate steps in FET device fabrication. ("Poly-silicon" is nerd-speak for highly conducting silicon-based material, ie metal.)

Sample lab report strategy
(note: as elsewhere in life, a sense of humor will be helpful)

Semiconductor physics from a disturbing source
(warning: only for those with a physician-certified sense of humor)

Dave Barry's short course on electrical circuits.

If you can analyze and debug this circuit you should be able to ace the course.
(warning again: only with a physician-certified sense of humor)


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