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33

The electrons themselves don't move all that fast. The wave energy is the part that moves quickly. Picture it this way. You have 500 meters of pipe, with a small hole at the other end. The pipe is full of water and you increase the pressure at your end. Water will flow out the other end immediately. This is the electrical energy (pressure) and the copper(...


19

Yes. That is the operating principle of this device, among many others:


17

In the early days of radio, the resonance of the antenna in combination with its associated inductive and capacitive properties was indeed the item which "dialed in" the frequency you wanted to listen to. You didn't actually change the length of the antenna, but by changing the inductor (a coil) or capacitor connected to the antenna you tuned the resonance. ...


16

The physical 'meaning' of the imaginary part of the impedance is that it represents the energy storage part of the circuit element. To see this, let the sinusoidal current $i = I\cos(\omega t)$ be the current through a series RL circuit. The voltage across the combination is $$v = Ri + L\frac{di}{dt} = RI\cos(\omega t) - \omega LI\sin(\omega t)$$ The ...


14

In fact, electron's speed is not so fast that light bulb glows up immediately. It is the electromagnetic field which travels in the circuit at near the speed of light that is resposible for it. After turn on the light, electron only acquires a little speed in addition its thermal speed. The thermal speed of electron can be estimated by $mv^2/2\approx k_BT/...


11

You might find the Yahoo "home_transistor" group a useful resource. There's also a series of videos on YouTube by Jeri Ellsworth including some where she makes transistors. In one, in particular, she takes the crystal out of a germanium point-contact diode and turns the crystal into a point-contact transistor (much like the Bell Labs transistor.) There ...


10

Power consumption is about linear with frequency. The processor contains millions of complementary FETs as shown. When the input goes low the small capacitance gets charged and it will hold a small amount of energy. A same amount is lost during the charging. When the input goes high again the charge will be drained to ground and be lost. So with each ...


8

First of all, an electric spark is moving of the electric charge through the air. This is somehow curious, as air itself is an electric insulator and does not conduct charges. However, when the electric field in air exceeds certain value, air gets ionized and highly conductive, enabling the movement of the charge. The next step to understand is why we get ...


8

A diode consists of two materials known as p-type and n-type semiconductors, connected in series which allows current to flow through them differently. In the n-type semiconductor, electrons travel with enough energy such that they're not attached to an atom and are said to be in the conduction energy band. For the p-type semiconductor, electrons "hop" from ...


7

I'll take it step by step here. First I'll write the answer for the first few cases with circuit analysis. Then I'll apply a reduction to show the pattern that the problem arrives at. N=1 $$Z = R+R=2R$$ N=2 $$Z = R+\frac{1}{\frac{1}{R}+\frac{1}{R + R}} = R \left( 1+\frac{1}{1+\frac{1}{1 + 1}} \right)=\frac{5}{3} R$$ N=3 $$Z = R+\frac{1}{\frac{1}{R}+\...


7

Virtual ground refers to a circuit element not directly connected to ground, held at a reference voltage. This reference voltage need not be the same voltage as ground either. For example many op-amp circuits were originally designed for dual power supplies (say +12V and -12V) and could handle filtering or modification of a signal that was oscillating ...


7

"Ground" refers to a particular voltage, generally taken to be "zero", or the voltage of the earth. A "virtual ground" is a wire in a circuit whose voltage is held to be zero not because it is directly connected to the true ground, but instead because it is actively driven to that voltage typically by feedback mechanisms. Here's an example of a virtual ...


6

For any given $n$, you can work it out via the rules for series and parallel resistors, but to get a general formula, valid for all $n$, doesn't look easy to me. The best way I know of is to get a recursive relationship giving the resistance of an $n$-step ladder in terms of an $(n-1)$-step ladder. If I'm not mistaken, the $n$-step ladder can be thought of ...


6

Calling it a built-in voltage is something of a misnomer. People usually think of "voltage" as "what you measure with a voltmeter". So "voltage" is normally synonymous with "electrochemical potential of electrons" (in stat mech terminology) and with "difference in fermi level" (in semiconductor terminology). Under this definition, the built-in "voltage" is ...


6

There is a physical meaning behind the imaginary component of the impedance. You can re-cast the complex impedance $Z = R + jX$ (using engineering's notation $j$ for the imaginary unit) in polar form to get $Z = |Z|\exp(j\phi)$. $|Z|$ is the magnitude of the impedance, and scales the amplitude of the current to get the amptlitude of the voltage. $\phi = \...


5

Cosmic rays do have noticeable affect on electronics. The most prevalent effect is from memory bit flips (known as "soft errors"). The degree of significance of the effect depends on the application. A typical soft error rate for static RAM is in the region of 400 FITs/Mbit [1]. (Failures in time=failures per billion device hours) So if you have 1 Gb of ...


5

To add to the "linear with frequency" point, there is also an additional factor. As that "dynamic power" increases, the temperature of the die will increase and this will also increase the leakage current through the millions of transistors, which will cause more dissipation (termed "static power") There's a long Anandtech thread taking lots of values and ...


5

It's surprisingly difficult to find a nice simple description of how a transistor works. This description is from my old physics book - I suspect this may be oversimplified and I'm sure a complete description would run to lots of equations! Anyhow, this is what an NPN transistor looks like: so as you say, the collector-base junction is reverse biased and ...


5

This is very easy to understand why centeraltap transformer is needed in a full wave rectifier. Let us assume that we have a simple transformer, and there are two diodes and the central wire coming out from the transformer is not present there which is obvious since we are not using centeraltap transformer. So now see the figure In first case let A be at ...


5

In experimental physics it is required to use electronics as instruments. You must know how they work(amplifiers, ADC's, MCA's etc) in order to fully understand and design an experiment. Usually, you don't need too much electronics(filters, amplifiers, transistors, digital electronics-boolean algebra) is more often than not, more than enough. You need ...


5

Nowadays, the answer is negligibly so. Video cameras now digitise the image as pixels in parallel using charge coupled device technology. Former technologies, however, would emit appreciable bremstrahlung from decelerating electron beams, as I now describe. Before the coming of CCD arrays, the main video technology was the scanned photocathode, also called ...


4

I spent many years working in the video graphics design industry. One of our problems is the opposite problem, that is, we have limits on how much electromagnetic radiation our products can produce. Before we can ship any new design, we have to test it to make sure it meets the limits. (The tests are done on samples, not on every item shipped.) The limits ...


4

Let me try yet one more type of explanation, which I will confine to the PN junction diode (covers virtually all diodes used in modern circuits). The diode consists of a p-doped region (p-type) slapped up against an n-doped region (n-type). In the p-type, the electron (e-) flow is largely accomplished by electrons moving from hole to hole. This is, ...


4

For a given circuit in a given technology, power increases at a rate proportional to $f^3$ or worse. You can see by looking at the graph in @Martin Thompson's answer that power is superlinear in frequency. $P=c V^2 f + P_S$ is correct, but only superficially so because $f$ and $P_S$ are functions of $V$ and $V_{th}$ (the threshold voltage.) In practice ...


4

The $A/W$ units refer to the current (in Ampère) produced per Watt of light incident on the photodiode. This current-production happens when the diode operates in the so-called photoconductive mode. Since your question wasn't on the inner workings of a photodiode, I won't expand on this, but Wikipedia contains some more information if desired.


4

The key difference between a Zener diode and a normal diode is that the Zener diode has a low breakdown voltage - typically in the few volts range. The breakdown voltage is low because the heavy doping means the depletion layer is very thin, and even at a low voltage the field strength over this thin depletion layer is very high. With a conventional diode ...


4

Earth's zero potential is just an arbitrary point similar to (0,0) of co-ordinate system. It has been chosen for Engineering practices because it has very very low theoretical potential (in light with charge at Infinity) and it's easily accessible to everyone and adding charge to it doesn't change it's theoretical potential. With reference to this arbitrary ...


4

From "The Transistor, A Semi-Conductor Triode", by J. Bardeen and W. H. Brattain, Phys Rev. 74(2), 230-231 (1948): "The device consists of three electrodes placed on a block of germanium as shown schematically in Fig. 1. Two, called the emitter and collector, are of the point-contact rectifier type and are placed in close proximity (separation ~0.005 to 0....


4

… an ideal power source capable of providing infinite current with no drop in the voltage it supplies. … Let's ignore the effects of current density on superconductors for now. … In these phrases is the explanation for the contradictory possibilities you have computed: you have supposed an impossible circuit. As a mathematical model, the behavior of your ...



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