Questions tagged [electrical-engineering]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
56
votes
3answers
9k views

Is there a physical limit to data transfer rate?

Is there a physical limit to data transfer rate (e.g. for USB $3.0$, this rate can be a few Gbit per second)? I am wondering if there is a physical law giving a fundamental limit to data transfer rate,...
43
votes
3answers
38k views

Why do we use AC for long distance transmission?

Why do we use AC (Alternating Current) for long distance transmission of electrical power? I know that AC is such a current that changes polarity (magnitude and direction) and has fixed poles.
32
votes
3answers
160k views

Why do we use Root Mean Square (RMS) values when talking about AC voltage

What makes it a good idea to use RMS rather than peak values of current and voltage when we talk about or compute with AC signals.
26
votes
8answers
101k views

Difference between live and neutral wires

In domestic electrical circuits, there are 3 wires - live, earth and neutral. What is the difference between the live and neutral wires? As there is AC supply, it means that there are no fixed ...
25
votes
6answers
3k views

Quantum random numbers from a laser — simplest setup?

I'm a software / maths guy who would like to build a physical setup for generating quantum random numbers. I have no physics background, so bear with me. Background The project is for a public ...
17
votes
2answers
7k views

Why don't they use springs as an energy source for cell phones?

I know they used springs for clocks way back in the day and now it's all lithium ion batteries. For reference, consider the Iphone that has a battery with a capacity of 5 Watt hours (18,000 joules). ...
16
votes
2answers
37k views

Why is Near Field Communication (NFC) range limited to about 20cm?

Near Field Communication (NFC) operates at 13.56 MHz. Near Field is the region situated at a distance r << λ λ = c/f ...
15
votes
6answers
15k views

Why is electrical energy so difficult to store?

Does anyone know a general answer to these questions? (I've asked them together because they're all pretty related, it seems.) Why is it that we find electrical energy so difficult to store? Do we ...
14
votes
7answers
6k views

What is a general definition of impedance?

Impedance is a concept that shows up in any area of physics concerning waves. In transmission lines, impedance is the ratio of voltage to current. In optics, index of refraction plays a role similar ...
12
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the probability of quantum tunneling occurring in this CPU?

You may have noticed over the last few years that Moore's law is no longer applying to the real world. This observation states that over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on ...
10
votes
5answers
20k views

Resistor circuit that isn't parallel or series

What's the equivalent resistance in this circuit (between points A and B)?
10
votes
6answers
21k views

What would be the effective resistance of the ladder of resistors having n steps

I'm a tutor. This is a high school level problem. In high school, every one have might have solved a problem of effective resistance of a ladder of resistors having infinite steps. Now the problem is ...
10
votes
3answers
13k views

Is it viable or possible to make your own transistor?

Just wondering if it is possible/viable to construct your own transistor, not small like todays, but the same scale as the one created at Bell Labs.
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Understanding radiation and coupling of LC circuits

I'm trying to get a more intuitive understanding of resonant inductive coupling. It's supposed be a more efficient way to transfer electrical energy wirelessly, because the coils are only coupled by ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Can a television detector van REALLY tell if you have the TV switched on? [closed]

In the UK, it was regularly advertised by the BBC, and the Post Office, that they had vans that could check if your TV was on, even if you were in an apartment block full of other people's TVS. TV "...
8
votes
3answers
224 views

Is there a physical limit to memory reading and writing speed?

Is there a limit to the speed at which a memory, quantum or classical, can be read or written into? I've seen this interesting question : Is there a physical limit to data transfer rate?. Here I'm ...
8
votes
2answers
439 views

Does a radio receiver add a load to the transmitter?

If I have a dynamo connected to a switch and a load (such as a light bulb), the load on the dynamo is increased when the switch is closed and the light comes on. The dynamo gets harder to turn. Is ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Torque of an electric engine

So I have some follow up questions from this thread: Electric engine transmission Basically, I am looking for a more precise mathematical statement that makes this true. Why is it that the electric ...
7
votes
2answers
11k views

How do bits get transferred over a copper wire?

I've been a programmer for a while, and I've done a little bit of network programming, but I'm wondering, how do bits get transferred over a copper wire? What counts for a 1 & what counts for a 0?...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Confusion about how an electron gun works

I'm a little unclear about the charge balance aspect of an electron gun. Referring to this diagram and similar diagrams I've seen, what I don't get is wouldn't the target of the electrons have to be ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Do resistor-based fan regulators save no power at all?

I have heard that the traditional resistor-based fan speed regulators are inefficient. In fact, I have noticed that such regulators tend to get hot when the fan is set to low speed. However, does that ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

What happens if the load on the electrical generator exceeds its generation power? And why?

What happens if the load on the electrical generator exceeds its power generation? and why? To be more precise, suppose we have a standard induction generator operating at frequency $\nu=50\:\mathrm{...
6
votes
1answer
222 views

Random walks on resistive network

I have been referring to a paper http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0405135 to determine the effective resistance using random walks for an infinite square resistive lattice Though the author seems to ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How do High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMT) work?

I am studying High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMT), but I simply cannot understand how they work in the way described by the references I've read on the Internet. This is what I understand so ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What happens after an electron and hole combine?

OK so I understand that an LED is a pn junction where when a forward bias is placed across the junction, the electric field causes the electrons to combine with the holes and release a photon through ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How did the Bardeen-Brattain point-contact transistor work?

I've been trying to understand how the Bardeen-Brattain point-contact transistor worked. The point-contact transistor uses Schottky barriers (metal/semi-conductor junctions), so under what conditions ...
5
votes
2answers
525 views

Could we run an electric car on electric eels?

Could we run an electric car on a tank full of electric eels? I've heard electric eels are around 400 to 500 volts and can keep shocking for up to an hour. They also have a 10 volt system to sense ...
5
votes
2answers
166 views

Layered CMOS structure question

I am trying to understand the workings of a CMOS image sensor. I understand that increasing wavelength results in an increased penetration depth in the silicon often used in CMOS image sensors. What ...
5
votes
3answers
10k views

Why and how exactly is electric motor torque limited?

Inspired by this question and specifically this answer to it. From my experience there's always some very specific limit to how much torque an electric motor can output. For example, an electric ...
4
votes
1answer
46k views

What is the role of center-tapping in a full wave rectifier?

Note: I have already tried googling. Although similar questions have been asked on different forums, I couldn't find a detailed explanation, which I could really understand. Circuit diagram courtesy ...
4
votes
5answers
22k views

Current through the reverse biased junction in transistor [closed]

A transistor is a three terminal device. One terminal is called emitter, one collector and in between them is base. Now, during biasing the junction between emitter and base is made forward biased and ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What exactly is a phasor?

What exactly is a phasor? I was reading about alternating current when I came across the following definition: A phasor is a vector which rotates about the origin with an angular speed(suppose $\...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is the electric field highest in regions of highest resistance?

I know Kirchhoff's law and that current must be constant. But what exactly is the phenomenon, from first principles, that causes the electric field to be stronger in a region with lower carrier ...
4
votes
2answers
516 views

What's the purpose of capacitors in parallel

In my school textbook it is written that the capacitor acts as a filter, that is, it decreases the fluctuations in the potential difference across the load. But since all the components are ...
4
votes
6answers
19k views

Current when resistance is 0

A short circuit has $\rm 0$ resistance. We use Ohm's Law $\rm V=IR$. If $\rm R=0$, then $\rm V=0$. Doesn't this mean $\rm I$ can theoretically be anything? Thus $\rm I$ can be like $\rm35A$ for ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Strategies against 50 Hz mains hum on detector signals?

I'm having problems with a strong 50 Hz mains hum on signals created by photodetectors. I assume that they are due to ground loops and I realize that the best option would be to remove those. What are ...
4
votes
1answer
681 views

Magnetic muscles [closed]

Consider two flexible sheets glued at the ends, with electromagnets attached to both of them, so that depending on the directions and strength of currents passing through them, the system could be ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Turn-on delay time for Laser diode

Do you know any simple explanation on the reason why the turn-on delay time on a laser diode is reducing while we increase the bias current? Turn on delay,is the time that the laser needs from the ...
4
votes
1answer
57 views

Different Color Intenensities from simple ON/OFF RGB subpixels

I recently got interested in electronic paper. One design that I liked was the one from Mirasol: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interferometric_modulator_display However, what I don't understand, is ...
4
votes
0answers
654 views

Building a Faraday cage for mobile networks that is transparent for optical wavelenghts

A friend of mine is working on an architectonic project, where she designs a Faraday cage type of open space built in parks or other public places. The initial thought is to build it from some sort of ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Would connecting p-type and n-type semiconductors work as a diode?

If we placed p-type and n-type semiconductors close enough to be touching (see fig. 1), would this arrangement work as a diode? ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

The role of resistor in e.g. an AND gate

What is the role of the resistor in e.g. an AND gate like this one? : One often sees lots of resistors in electric circuits, but I haven't really understood their role.
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Railway line conundrum [closed]

I found a wire joining those 2 cement slabs. I wonder what it does. Any ideas?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How to make electrical connection to silicon wafer for testing?

I am trying to make an electrical connection to a silicon wafer using a wire (approx 32AWG). I find that conventional lead/tin (60/40, no flux) solder cannot adhere well to the silicon wafer, since ...
3
votes
2answers
114 views

$ε_0$ affects electric field intensity, but $μ_0$ doesn't affect magnetic field intensity?

I'll be honest: this question is actually a homework problem. I've spent the past hour going through Google and several textbooks trying to answer the question "Why does $ϵ_0$ affect electric field ...
3
votes
3answers
175 views

whether electricity that comes in our home comes directly after generated or first stored and then distributed

Please give answer that, whether electricity in our home comes directly after it is generated e.g. at a dam or nuclear plant or first it is stored somewhere and then distributed as it is needed.
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Which types of collisions contribute to electrical resistivity?

Do electrons only bump with other electrons in a circuit and that only causes resistance? Or do they bump with the nucleus as well? Here's a post I have been studying recently: The path of a ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Explanation of the Graetz circuit

My knowledge of circuits is pretty rudimentary and I've never really understood circuits, so I'm having trouble with the concept of Graetz circuits: When you register the voltage on the resistor R on ...
3
votes
1answer
403 views

Power consumption of a qubit?

I keep hearing “A quantum computer will consume so much power that it'll need a dedicated power plant.” I'm trying to find literature to back this up. I would love to get an estimate for the ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

Apparent violation of energy conservation in an electromagnetic transformer system

First of all I would like to say I am not a native English speaker, so there might be some grammar mistakes. Sorry in advance for that! I have been a whole month trying to understand what is going on ...