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Old Jul 4th 2018, 04:59 AM   #1
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Help me understand electronics in practice

Hello,
I'm a graduate Student in chemistry and as part of my studies I also had to study physics 1&2. I was fashinated by the latter but it was really difficult to understand it properly as I did not grasp the applications.

For example, we were taught about AC/DC currents but no one ever told me why we use one or the other in different applications (eg for a lightbulb or for a Laptop). Or what was the purpose of inductors in a circuits, when they just seemed like small resistances in the way for no particular reason. Or why TV cable has inner copper wires and external Aluminium one, or what would change if I plucked away some copper wires from a cable...

Just lately I came across a webpage that tried to illustrate electronics with actual components and then I finally started to understand where and how you use some of them. I understood that inductors are used for transformers, I understood that diodes are used to turn AC into DC, but I still have many unanswered questions about the subject.

Just learning the theory is useless to me if I don't have practical examples of how you can use all those properties., because I'll just forget information that I deem irrelevant. Most of those theories just leave me wondering "Why would I ever need that? How am I exactly supposed to exploit this component? Uhm interesting property, so what?"

Also I still fail to comprehend circuits with 3 exits or how amplifiers exactly work and how they are useful in practice.

Do you have any textbook or Website or source that can guide me in electronics with actual practical examples for each property or component? Hell, there are kids out there toying with electronics and they are like in middle School, so you don't even need to be able to solve huge integers or anything complex as that to meddle with electronics.

Thanks
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Old Jul 5th 2018, 06:42 AM   #2
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Ac/dc

Regarding AC verses DC, an analogy can perhaps help.
In AC the individual electrons move back and forth, but the energy is passed on.
This is a bit like a wave on the ocean, the individual water molecules just move in relatively small circular motions about a fixed point, but the energy crosses oceans.
In DC the individual electrons make the full journey around the circuit.
This is more like water flowing in a pipe.

For long distance energy transport AC is more efficient.
However for driving electronic circuits, DC is (usually) what you want.

For practical text books, I am sure there are many excellent books, but unfortunately I don't know them...

It might be useful to set yourself a practical task (for example build an intercom system for your front door) finding out how to do this will inevitably teach you a great deal about electronics.
Obviously there are kits to do this, however the less you rely on other peoples designs, the more you will (have to) learn.
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Old Jul 5th 2018, 09:07 AM   #3
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Posts: 249
Originally Posted by Metallus View Post
Hello,
I'm a graduate Student in chemistry and as part of my studies I also had to study physics 1&2. I was fashinated by the latter but it was really difficult to understand it properly as I did not grasp the applications.

For example, we were taught about AC/DC currents but no one ever told me why we use one or the other in different applications (eg for a lightbulb or for a Laptop). Or what was the purpose of inductors in a circuits, when they just seemed like small resistances in the way for no particular reason. Or why TV cable has inner copper wires and external Aluminium one, or what would change if I plucked away some copper wires from a cable...

Just lately I came across a webpage that tried to illustrate electronics with actual components and then I finally started to understand where and how you use some of them. I understood that inductors are used for transformers, I understood that diodes are used to turn AC into DC, but I still have many unanswered questions about the subject.

Just learning the theory is useless to me if I don't have practical examples of how you can use all those properties., because I'll just forget information that I deem irrelevant. Most of those theories just leave me wondering "Why would I ever need that? How am I exactly supposed to exploit this component? Uhm interesting property, so what?"

Also I still fail to comprehend circuits with 3 exits or how amplifiers exactly work and how they are useful in practice.

Do you have any textbook or Website or source that can guide me in electronics with actual practical examples for each property or component? Hell, there are kids out there toying with electronics and they are like in middle School, so you don't even need to be able to solve huge integers or anything complex as that to meddle with electronics.

Thanks
Try looking online for some books on "Introduction to electrical engineering". There's lots of material available which describes the kinds of things you're after.
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