Instructor: Daniel A. Steck
Office: 277 Willamette Phone: 3465313 email: dsteck@uoregon.edu
Office hours: walkin and by appointment
Teaching Assistant:
Cameron Dennis  office: WIL 373  office hour: TBA  email: rdennis@uoregon.edu 
Schedule: TTh 10:0011:50, 318 Willamette, plus a 3hour lab section (11 WIL)
Course reference number: 25567
Credits: 4
Prerequisites: PHYS 203 or equivalent; knowledge of complex numbers; MATH 256
Links: news, lab sections, textbook, course reading and notes, labs/homework sets and keys.
As a scientist, your goals in studying electronics are somewhat different than, say, an electrical engineer studying the same subject. Without delving into too much of the details of how electronic components work, you need to have simple conceptual models that will allow you to understand schematics well enough to troubleshoot a misbehaving instrument, design a simple circuit to filter a signal, or track down and eliminate noise in a lab measurement. Basically, things that will help you do physics in the laboratory. We will study electronic components and circuits at this basic level, and cover some of the more “realistic” features of components that you need to understand to design and work with more precise circuits, as well as the tricks and techniques you need to make circuits work.
See the tentative syllabus below for a preliminary list of topics we will cover.
Lab: The whole point of electronics is to put theory to work and make (working!) electronic circuits. Thus, the lab component of the course is critical. The goal of the labs is to give you a functional knowledge of electronics and to get you comfortable working with electronic devices.
You will need to attend one 3hour lab component during some weeks (see syllabus below for schedule). There will be two lab sections, and we will arrange these during the second week of class.
You should also obtain a laboratory notebook (i.e., as you would use in a real laboratory), permanently bound with quadruled pages (like this). This is the primary record of your lab work, and you should record all your notes and measurements in this book.
Texts: There is no required textbook to purchase for this course. The main reference for this course will be online notes posted here. Another good, free reference is a set of notes by Ray Frey, posted here.
There are a few books that are good introductions to electronics, and you might consider picking up one or more of these:
Grades for the course will be based on homework, two midterm exams, and a final exam. The relative weights will be as follows:
Homework: will be assigned weekly and each assignment will be due in class one week after it is assigned. Thereafter, late homework will be accepted, but at a 25% penalty for each 24 hour period it is turned in late. Partial assignments may be turned in, and only the late portion will be penalized.
Midterm exam 1: in class, Thursday, February 1.
Midterm exam 2: in class, Thursday, March 1.
Final exam: The final exam will be held Friday, March 23, 8:0010:00 am(!), in 318 Willamette.
Labs: There are 5 total lab projects. For each lab, you should turn in a brief report on your work. This is not the same as what you record in your lab notebook. The report should summarize the work you did in the lab. Provide headings for your entries that correspond to the sections in the lab instructions. Clearly indicate the location of required material in your report. Note any unusual or unexpected results. You should turn in your reports in the box in room 11 at least 48 hours before the next lab session (or the final exam, in the case of the last lab).
Pass/fail grading option: a passing grade requires the equivalent of a C average grade on all coursework (homework, labs, and exams).
Some of the homework will require access to a computer for basic calculations and plotting (in any of several higherlevel packages such as Mathematica, Maple, Matlab, Octave, Mathcad, etc.). I will use Mathematica for examples because of its availability at UO, but it is not necessarily the best choice for any particular problem. Contact the instructor as soon as possible if you do not already have access to such resources.
Tuesday  Thursday  Lab 

9 January Resistors and Networks 
11 January Capacitors and Inductors 

16 January Complex Impedance 
18 January Resonant Circuits 

23 January Diodes 
25 January Bipolar Transistors 
Lab 1 Linear Components 
30 January More Transistors 
1 February Midterm Exam 1 

6 February Differential Amplifiers 
8 February Transistor Details 
Lab 2 Diodes 
13 February FETs 
15 February OpAmp Basics 
Lab 3 Transistor Basics 
20 February Integrators, Differentiators 
22 February Instrumentation Amps 
Lab 4 Transistor Circuits 
27 February OpAmp Bias and Power 
1 March Midterm Exam 2 

6 March OpAmp Gain 
8 March Bandwidth, Slew, Stability 
Lab 5 Introduction to OpAmps 
13 March Comparators, Oscillators 
15 March PID Control 
Lab 6 OpAmp Circuits 
Other important dates:
Last day to drop without a W: 15 January
Last day to register: 17 January
Last day to withdraw: 25 February