CHEM/PHYS 208-00  Introductory Electronics         Fall (12) 2011

Professor:  Laura Van Wormer (, x5249, 108 Gerstacker Hall)


Text:  Basic Electronics: An Introduction to Electronics for Science Students

Lab Manual:  Basic Electronics

Both are by Curtis A. Meyer and are available only from


Goals and objectives for student learning:

In electronics, you will

·         Learn the basic principles and methods of electronics through reading, understanding lecture and doing problems;

·         Improve your quantitative reasoning skills through understanding lecture, doing problems and lab experiments;

·         Develop your analytical reasoning skills through understanding lecture, doing problems and lab experiments;

·         Improve your ability to communicate scientific ideas, in both oral and written form through written problem and exam solutions, your lab manual and conversations with your lab groups and the instructor.


Through the labs, you will

·         Develop hands-on skill in acquiring reproducible, experimental data

·         Discover and perform experimental measurement techniques

·         Analyze experimental results and draw reasonable conclusions from them using a theoretical framework

·         Analyze uncertainties and errors on measurements and calculations

·         Discover and use equipment you may see in industry or graduate school

·         Use software tools such as Excel for data analysis and Word for producing lab reports

·         Explore fundamental properties of nature

Grades:  Your grade will be based on homework (40%), your lab work and lab notebook (40%) and midterm and final exam (10% each).   We will discuss a reasonable homework due date schedule.  We might choose weekly or by chapter. 

Attendance:  I don’t have a formal attendance policy, but the expectation is that you will attend every class and lab session.  The labs especially are difficult if not impossible to make up on your own and puts your lab partner(s) at a disadvantage.

Laboratory Expectations:  We will start the lab at 8:30 a.m. on Thursdays and 11:00 am on Fridays in Colton 18.   You will need to purchase a lab notebook that is bound.  Please start with a new one.     Leave a page or two blank at the beginning to be used as a Table of Contents.  If you buy one of the little composition notebooks, the pages won’t be numbered.  You’ll need to do that.

Please read carefully the experiment instructions in the lab manual before coming to lab.   You will notice that there is an Introduction and Pre-lab questions for each lab.  These questions MUST be answered before you come to lab.  You may want to start these well ahead of time so that you can ask questions, if needed.  All questions must be answered in your lab notebook and must be legible.

During the laboratory session, data will be taken and recorded in the manual.  Always include circuit diagrams and actual measured values for all circuit elements.  You may wish to take your data directly into Excel or some such program.  The data tables should then be printed out and taped into your lab notebook.  PLEASE trim them so they fit!  All tables and graphs should be labeled appropriately, including attention to units and significant digits.

The questions in the lab manual should be answered and data analysis should be done before leaving the lab.  All of this should appear in your lab manual.



Problems and Comments


2, 3 & 6, 7 & 8 & 9 & 11 (for Thevenin circuits), 17, 20 & 21


2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12 14, 17, 20, 23, 27

Prob. 2: Be sure to graph this first.  It will help you set limits.

Prob. 12:  cos (A-B) = cos(A) cos(B) + sin(A) sin(B)

Prob. 20c: Use eqns. 2.49 and 2.50 on pg. 59.  Also these go with the graph in the problem statement.


1, 5 & 6, 7 & 8, 13

Prob. 1: Don’t assume that R = Zin.  Start by using the equation for gain to establish a relationship between R and C.


1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 11

Prob. 8: Use the voltage limiter circuit as a starting point.


1, 2, 3, 5, 7 & 8 & 9 – all based on the emitter-follower configuration. Extra credit: 15 – based on the common-emitter configuration


2, 3 & 4 – they DO have a difference that you need to identify, 5 & 6, 11 Extra credit: 16



1, 5 & 6, 8, 10, 11