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Chris Fox's Engineering Section


Electronics and Computing

An electrical circuit consists of one or more electrical components connected to a power supply. The characteristics and functionality of the circuit is determined by the nature of those components.

Electrical components are connected with wire or printed circuit board tracks having a high electrical conductivity.

The fundamental electrical quantity is charge (Q). Although not related to the mass of bodies, charge still affects the forces of attraction - or repulsion, as the case may be - between them. The SI unit of charge is the coulomb (C).

Current (I) is defined as the rate of flow of charge, and it is this flow that powers a circuit. By convention, circuit diagrams show current flowing from the positive to the negative terminal of the power supply; this convention was established before it was discovered that current involves the flow of negatively-charged electrons, which would be repelled by the negative terminal. The SI unit of current is the amp (A).

A computer may be described as an electronic device that processes information according to instructions it has been given.

Computers have both hardware and software. Hardware consists of physical components such as nuts and bolts, integrated circuits, wires and disks. Software holds the programs that run on the computer.


[Steady Electric Currents] [Capacitors] [Inductors] [Alternating Current] [Analogue Devices] [Operational Amplifiers] [Amplifier Frequency Response] [Electric Motors] [Electro-Pneumatic and Electro-Hydraulic Systems] [Digital Logic] [Combined Operations] [Switching Functions from Truth Tables] [Combinational Logic Potpourri] [Sequential Logic Systems] [Counters and Timers] [Clocks and Oscillators] [Data] [Microprocessor Architecture] [Data Transfer] [Digital-Analogue and Analogue-Digital Conversion] [Introduction to Computer Systems] [Types of Computer Systems] [Hardware] [Software] [Programming Languages] [Operating Systems] [Information Transmission] [Networking] [Introduction to Microprocessors] [Microcomputer Architecture] [Address Decoding] [Buffers] [Timing] [Input/Output] [Interrupts] [Purpose Built I/O Devices] [Serial Data Communications] [Parallel Data Communications] [Signal Conditioning] [TurboPascal] [Variables and Conditions] [Loops and Functions] [Files] [Strings] [Arrays] [User-Defined Procedures and Functions] [C] [Loops] [Functions] [Pointers] [MathCAD] [Computer Aided Design and Manufacture] [Computer Aided Design] [Computer Aided Design Systems] [CIMCAD] [Solid Modelling] [Computer Aided Manufacture] [Development of Numerical Control] [Numerical Control in Action] [Part Programming for Numerical Control] [Finite Element Analysis] [Basic Model Generation] [Model Validity and Accuracy] [Mesh Design] [Assembly and Solution of Equations] [Results Processing] [Higher Order Elements] [Submodelling and Substructuring] [Further Applications] [Robot Systems] [Object Location] [Actuators] [Robot Programming Languages] [Tooling and Grippers] [Expert Systems] [Knowledge Types] [Knowledge Acquisition] [Software Tools]


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