# Basic Electronics : Basic Components

By Dulsha Kularatna Abeywardana
ME – Electrical & Electronics (Auckland, New Zealand), BE - Electrical & Electronics (Auckland, New Zealand)

’ In order to cover the entire subject of engineering three other fundamental units have been defined. length and time) are needed to study mechanics since all other quantities (ex. This was introduced in 1960 and is now adopted by the majority of countries as the official system of measurement.Chapter 1 Components.1. as given below in table 1. usually abbreviated to SI units. which are. The units selected for these three quantities are called ‘fundamental units.1 Seven fundamental quantities Quantity Length Mass Time Electric Current Temperature Luminous Intensity Amount of substance Symb ol l. the units of only three quantities (mass. power etc. The international system of units (abbreviated as SI units) has been universally accepted and units have been assigned for the fundamental quantities by this system. Area. velocity etc) can be expressed in terms of these quantities. derivation or definition. Derived SI units use combinations of basic units and there are many of them. temperature and luminous intensity. Quantities and Units In electrical circuits we deal with a very large number of physical quantities such as voltage. and is based on the metric system. The system of units used in engineering and science is the Système International d’Unités (International system of units). L m t I T I Unit Name meter kilogram second ampere degree kelvin candela Mole Unit Symbol m kg s A K Cd mol . Two examples are: • Velocity—meters per second (m/s) • Acceleration—meters per second squared (m/s2) There are seven fundamental quantities and they have been assigned standard units of measurements. inductance. Although it is possible to assign a standard unit for each quantity. resistance. For example. capacitance. volume. Table 1. it is rarely necessary to do so because many of the quantities are functionally related through experiment. current. electric current.

Table 1. x 10-9 ) divide by 1.000 (i.e.e. x 106 ) multiply by 1. are listed in Table 1.SI units may be made larger or smaller by using prefixes that denote multiplication or division by a particular amount.000. units.000 (i.e.2 N C A Ω S V V J J W meter kilogram second meters per second meters per second squared newton coulomb ampere ohm siemen volt volt joule joule watt Acceleration Force Electrical charge or quantity Electric current Resistance Conductance Electromotive force Potential difference Work Energy Power .. x 10-6 ) divide by 1.000.000 (i..000. x 103 ) divide by 1..2 Most common multiples Prefix M k m μ n p Nam e mega kilo milli micro nano pico Meaning multiply by 1.000 (i.000 (i. x 10-3 ) divide by 1.3 : Electrical terms. with their meaning..e. and symbols Quantity Symbol l m t v a F Q I R G E V W E (or W) P Unit Unit symbol m kg s m/s or ms-1 m/s2 or ms.000.000.e.e.000 (i.2..000. x 10-12 ) Quantity Length Mass Time Velocity Table 1. The six most common multiples.000..

or universal instrument. Since all the current in the circuit passes through the ammeter it must have a very low resistance. To avoid a significant current flowing through it. Figure 1. current and resistance. A multimeter. The oscilloscope may be used to observe waveforms and to . a voltmeter is connected in parallel with the lamp to measure the voltage across it. may be used to measure voltage.2. A voltmeter is an instrument used to measure voltage and must be connected in parallel with the part of the circuit whose voltage is required.2 An ohmmeter is an instrument for measuring resistance.Symbols are used for components in electrical circuit diagrams and some of the more common ones are shown in Figure 1.2 shows an ammeter connected in series with the lamp to measure the current fl owing through it. Figure 1.1 Common electrical component symbols Basic Electrical Measuring Instruments An ammeter is an instrument used to measure current and must be connected in series with the circuit. In Figure 1. a voltmeter must have a very high resistance.1 . Figure 1.

electric-field effects. sources. then the magnitude of the voltage is 3 cm x 10 V/cm. The passive components are the resistance R representing the heating effect. Capacitors An ideal capacitor is an energy-storage circuit element (with no loss associated with it) representing the electric-field effect. Figure 1.1. Although the effects of each element (such as heating effects. 30 V. The circuit symbols of fixed and variable resistors are shown in Figure 1.3 Inductors An ideal inductor is also an energy-storage circuit element (with no loss associated with it) like a capacitor. and the inductance L representing the magnetic-field effect. Inductors will be discussed in detail later in chapter 13.4.3. The symbol for capacitors is shown in figure 1. The display of an oscilloscope involves a spot of light moving across a screen. the capacitance C representing the electric-field effect. For example. Their characteristics will be discussed later in the course. or magnetic-field effects) are distributed throughout space. The amount by which the spot is deflected from its initial position depends on the voltage applied to the terminals of the oscilloscope and the range selected.e. Basic Circuit Components Electric circuits or networks are formed by interconnecting various devices. R is known as the resistance of the resistor with the SI unit of ohms (Ω). i. Resistors will be discussed in detail in the next chapter. Resistors An ideal resistor is a circuit element with the property that the current through it is linearly proportional to the potential difference across its terminals. if the spot is deflected 3 cm and the volts/cm switch is on 10 V/cm.4 . one often lumps them together as lumped elements. but representing the magnetic-field effect. The displacement is calibrated in volts per cm. The symbol for inductors is shown in figure 1. and G is the reciprocal of resistance called conductance. Figure 1.measure voltages and currents. with the SI unit of siemens (S). and components. Capacitors will be discussed in detail later in chapter 12..

The term constant-current sink is sometimes used for sources fed from a negative voltage supply. such as batteries. can be modelled for analysis purposes as a combination of an ideal voltage source and additional combinations of impedance elements. Figure 1. Figure 1. an ideal voltage source is a circuit element where the voltage across it is independent of the current through it.Voltage Source In electric circuit theory. Figure 1. Real-world sources of electrical energy.5 Current Source A current source is an electrical or electronic device that delivers or absorbs electric current.6 . However. No real current source is ideal (no unlimited energy sources exist) and all have a finite internal resistance (none can supply unlimited voltage). However. No real voltage source is ideal. A voltage source supplies a constant DC or AC potential between its terminals for any current flow through it. and none can supply unlimited current. generators. A current source is the dual of a voltage source. Figure 1. the internal resistance of a physical current source is effectively modelled in circuit analysis by combining a non-zero resistance in parallel with an ideal current source.6 illustrates the symbols used for a current source. or power systems. all have a non-zero effective internal resistance.5 illustrates the symbols used to represent a voltage source. the internal resistance of a real voltage source is effectively modelled in linear circuit analysis by combining a non-zero resistance in series with an ideal voltage source.

The charge of an electron is so small that it is not convenient to select it as the unit of charge. . 1 Coulomb = Charge of 628 x 1016 We know that electrons move around the nucleus of an atom in different orbits. This directed flow of free electrons is called electric current.1 . When electric pressure or voltage is applied. will start moving towards the positive terminal around the circuit as shown below. an excess of electrons occur and the body attains a negative charge. For example the paper of the note is electrically neutral since it has the same number of electrons and protons.Copper Convention Free +Electrons al Strip Current Figure 2. As we move away from the nucleus the binding decreases so that electrons in the last orbit (called valence electrons) are quite loosely bound to the nucleus. ‘Coulomb’ is used as the unit of charge. In figure 2. If a neutral body is supplied with electrons.Chapter 2 Voltage.1 the copper strip has a large number of free electrons. Current and Resistance Matter is electric in nature since they contain protons and electrons. In certain substances. free electrons which are negatively charged. If the number of electrons are equal to protons in a body the resultant charge is zero and the body will be electrically neutral. However . Electric Current The flow of free electrons is called electric current. Electrons in the inner orbits are tightly bound to the nucleus. especially metals. Those valence electrons which are very loosely attached to the nucleus of an atom are called free electrons. if some electrons are removed from a neutral body a deficit of electrons occurs in the body and it becomes positively charged. One Coulomb (C) of charge is equal to the charge of 628 x 1016 electrons. the valence electrons are so weakly attached to their nuclei and can be easily removed or detached.

If Q = 1C and t = 1s then the current I = 1A. The capacity of a charged body to do work is called electric potential.3 If a current of 10 A flows for 4 minutes. Electric current is defined as the rate of flow of charge through a conductor. find the quantity of electricity transferred.2 What current must flow if 0. The ability of the charged body to do work is called the electric potential.e. Therefore the unit of electric current will be coulombs/sec or ampere. the charge flowing per second. Therefore this assumed direction is called the conventional current.24 coulombs is to be transferred in 15 ms? Example 2. One ampere of current is said to flow through a wire if at any section one coulomb of charge flows in one second. Q = 1C then V = 1V.The actual direction of current is from the negative terminal to the positive terminal through the circuit external to the cell.1 If a current of 5 A flows for 2 minutes. But prior to electron theory. The charged body has the capacity to do work by moving other charges either by attraction or repulsion. it was assumed that current flowed from the positive terminal to the negative terminal of the cell via the circuit. Electric Potential When a body is charged. Electric potential. V = Work doneCharge = WQ The work done is measured in joules and charge in coulombs and therefore the unit for electric potential is joules/coulomb or ‘volt. This work done is stored in the body in the form of potential energy. Example 2. i. A closed path is essential for the current to flow through a circuit. I = ∆ Q/∆ t The charge Q is measured in Coulombs and time t in seconds. Example 2. work is done by charging it. . find the quantity of electricity transferred. A body is said to have an electric potential of 1 volt if 1 joule of work is done to give it a charge of 1 coulomb.’ If W = 1J.

The potential difference is commonly referred to as ‘voltage. a potential difference exists between the bodies. offer high opposition and are called insulators. B A +3V +5V Figure 2. The moving electrons collide with atoms or molecules of the substance and each collision results in the release of a minute quantity of energy in the form of heat. in figure 2. The practical unit of resistance is ohm and is represented by the symbol Ω. The potential difference between two points is 1 volt if one joule of work is done in transferring 1 coulomb of charge from one point to the other. Each coulomb of charge on body A has an energy of 5 joules while each coulomb of charge on body B has as an energy of 3 joules.’ and it is measured in volts. Body A is at a higher potential than body B. A wire is said to have a resistance of 1Ω if a potential difference of 1V across its ends causes a current of 1A to flow through it. Factors upon which Resistance Depends . such as metals. A and B. dry wood etc. Therefore it can be concluded that a current will flow in a circuit if a potential difference exists. We can also say that resistance is the electric friction offered by the substance and causes production of heat with the flow of electric current. This opposition occurs because atoms and molecules of the substance obstruct the flow of these electrons. Substances such as glass.2 If the two bodies are joined through a conductor then electrons will from body B to body A and once the two bodies attain the same potential the flow of current stops. have potentials of 5V and 3V respectively. Resistance The opposition effect by a substance to the flow of current is called resistance. Certain substances. rubber.2.Potential Difference The difference in the potentials of two charged bodies is called ‘potential difference. Consider the two bodies. mica.’ If two bodies have different electric potentials. offer very little opposition and are called conductors.

cons. The change in resistance is fairly regular for a normal range of temperatures. The value of ρ depends upon the nature of the material. increases with the increase of temperature. mica. insulators (glass. For some high resistance alloys (eureka. Resistors Resistors that are found in electric circuits doing many different tasks have different physical constructions.The resistance of a conductor: I. II. Such materials have a negative temperature coefficient. silicon) decreases with the increase in temperature. In general. and their i–v characteristic (current versus voltage plot) is a straight line. power dissipation capability and tolerance of the resistance value. Is directly proportional to its length (l) Is inversely proportional to its area of cross section (a) Depends upon the nature of the material Changes with temperature R α la R = ρ la ρ is a constant and is known as the resistivity or specific resistance of the material. Resistance of alloys increases with the rise of temperature. Resistivity is measured in ohm-m (Ωm). Resistivity Resistivity (specific resistance) of a material is the resistance offered by 1m length of wire of material having an area of cross section of m2. manganin. Most resistors used in practice are good approximations to linear resistors for large ranges of current. The resistance of electrolytes. aluminium). but this increase is very small and irregular. The effect of temperature varies according to the type of material. the resistance of a material changes with the change in temperature. Resistivity can also be defined as the resistance between the opposite faces of a meter cube of material. III. The wire wound resistor is often found in larger industrial applications . IV. rubber) and semi-conductors (germanium. The resistance in pure metals (copper. the constantan) the change in resistance is practically negligible over a wide range of temperatures.

The cylindrical shape is composed of carbon and is relatively inexpensive. Example 2. They are colour-coded to indicate their value and precision. First two bands on the resistor colour code represent the value and the third band is the multiplying factor.where greater power handling capability is required. Carbon resistors are generally low wattage resistors with a power dissipating capability ranging from 0.3 has red and green as its first two bands and orange in the multiplier band. Determine: . These are highly sensitive to temperature variations. but they have been replaced in the recent years by diffused resistors. Metal film resistors are made using film deposition techniques to deposit a thick film of resistive material onto insulating substrate. Diffused resistors are fabricated using the same technique as integrated circuits.5 x 103Ω and this value can vary by ±10%. Figure 2. These resistors have an accuracy close to those of the wire wound resistors as they are trimmed quite accurately using laser. They generally have a tolerance of about ±20%. The carbon type resistors are widely used in electric circuits.3 For example the resistor in figure 2. These resistors are constructed of nickel-chromium alloy and are wound on a ceramic core. The tolerance is silver.1 to 2W and the physical size of the larger resistors have less than 1cm in diameter. Therefore the value of the resistor is 2. The fourth band indicates the tolerance of the resistor.4 The resistance of a 5 m length of wire is 600 Ω.

25 Ω .6 Calculate the cross-sectional area.(a) the resistance of an 8 m length of the same wire (b) the length of the same wire when the resistance is 420 Ω Example 2.02 x 10-6 Ω m.5 A piece of wire of cross-sectional area 2 mm2 has a resistance of 300 Ω. in mm2. of a piece of copper wire. Find: (a) the resistance of a wire of the same length and material if the cross-sectional area is 5 mm2 (b) the cross-sectional area of a wire of the same length and material of resistance 750 Ω Example 2. . Take the resistivity of copper as 0. 40 m in length and having a resistance of 0.