Fundamental Electronics (Spring 2017)


The purpose of this course is to teach students basic laboratory electronics. Students completing the course will be well-versed in the most important measurement techniques used in modern experimental physics laboratories. The course focuses on practical applications of electronics and will not explore electrodynamics or the theory of electromagnetism.

We will begin with the very basics of DC circuits and work our way up to more complicated analog circuits. The use of transistors, operational amplifiers, and feedback will be discussed. We will then move to the basics of digital circuits and the interface between digital and analog circuitry. High-frequency and low-noise measurement techniques will also be covered.

Format and Requirements

The course consists of one 2-hour lecture per week and one 1-hour practical session per week. Practical sessions will vary from week to week. Depending on the topic the sessions will involve the actual building of electronic circuits, the programming of a measurement script, or the resolution of circuit design problems. Satisfactory completion of all of the assignments is required in order to pass the course. The course will be conducted in English. The grading is pass/fail.

This course will be aimed at 3rd-year bachelor and master students in physics and nanoscience. Physics II is suggested as a prerequisite, though not required.

Large portions of the course will be based on the The Art of Electronics, P. Horowitz and W. Hill (Cambridge, 1997) and Student Manual for the Art of Electronics, T. C. Hayes and P. Horowitz (Cambridge, 1996). While The Art of Electronics (AE) is an excellent reference, we will more closely follow its practical companion Student Manual for the Art of Electronics (SMAE), which you are required to have and encouraged to buy. Copies of the readings for more modern topics will be distributed in class.


Lectures: Wednesdays, 14.00-16.00, 3.12
Lab/Exercise Session 1: Mondays, 15:00-17:00, 3.12
Lab/Exercise Session 2: Thursdays, 09:00-11:00, 3.12