Ampere (A) The unit of measurement of
electric current.

Amplifier Electronic device or circuit that
produces an output signal with greater power, voltage, or current than that
provided by the input signal.

Capacitance (C) The capability of a
component to store an electric charge when voltage is applied across the
component, measured in farads.

Capacitor A component that stores electric
charge when voltage is applied to it, that can return the charge to a circuit
in the form of electric current when the voltage is removed.

Discrete components Individual electronic
parts such as resistors, diodes, capacitors, and transistors.

Diode A component that conducts current in
one direction only.

Farad (F) The unit of measurement of
capacitance.

Feedback A connection from the output of an
amplifier back to the input, where a portion of the output voltage is used to
control, stabilize, or modify the operation of the amplifier.

Frequency (f) Number of cycles of a
waveform that occur in a given time period, measured in hertz (cycles per
second).

Ground Zero volts. This is the arbitrary
reference point in a circuit from which all voltage measurements are made.

Henry (H) The unit of measurement of
inductance.

Impedance (Z) Total opposition (resistance
and reactance) of a circuit to AC current flow, measured in ohms.

Inductance (L) The property of a component
that opposes any change in an existing current, measured in henrys.

Inductor A coil of wire whose magnetic
field opposes changes in current flow when the voltage across the coil is
changed.

Integrated circuit (IC) Electronic
component in the form of a very small silicon chip in which numerous
transistors and other components have been built to form a circuit.

Kirchhoff’s laws A set of formulas that
form the basis for DC and AC circuit analysis, including: current law (KCL):
The sum of all currents at a junction equals zero; and voltage law (KVL): The
sum of all voltages in a loop equals zero.

Ohm (#) The unit of measurement of
resistance.

Ohm’s law A formula used to calculate the
relationship between voltage, current, and resistance, expressed as V = IR.
Also expressed as E = IR.

Operational amplifier (op-amp) An
integrated circuit, multi-stage amplifier. An op-amp is much smaller and,
therefore, more practical than an equivalent amplifier made with discrete
components.

Oscillator An electronic circuit that
produces a continuous output signal such as a sine wave or square wave.

Phase angle For a signal, the angle of lead
or lag between the current waveform and the voltage waveform.

Phase shift The change in phase of a signal
as it passes through a circuit, such as in an amplifier.

Power The expenditure of energy over time.
Power is measured in watts.

Reactance (X) The degree of opposition of a
component to the flow of alternating current (AC), measured in ohms. There are
two types of reactance: capacitive reactance (XC) exhibited by capacitors and
inductive reactance (XL) exhibited by inductors.

Rectification The process of changing
alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC).

Resistance (R) The degree of opposition of
a component to the flow of electric current, measured in ohms.

Resistor A component whose value is
determined by the amount of opposition it has to the flow of electric current.

Semiconductor A material that has
electrical characteristics of a conductor or an insulator, depending on how it
is treated. Silicon is the semiconductor material most commonly used in
electronic components.

Transformer A component that transforms an
input AC voltage to either a higher level (step up transformer) or a lower
level (step down transformer) AC voltage.

Transistor, BJT A bipolar junction
transistor (BJT) is a semiconductor component that can either be used as a
switch or an amplifier. In either case, a small input signal controls the
transistor, producing a much larger output signal.

Transistor, JFET A junction field effect
transistor (JFET), like the bipolar junction transistor, can be used either as
a switch or an amplifier.

Transistor, MOSFET Metal oxide silicon
field effect transistor (MOSFET); like the BJT and JFET, a MOSFET can be used
either as a switch or an amplifier. The MOSFET is the most commonly used
transistor in integrated circuits.

Turns ratio (TR) The ratio of the number of
turns in the primary or input winding of a transformer to the number of turns
in the secondary or output winding.

Volt (V) The unit of measurement for the
potential difference that causes a current to flow through a conductor.

Watt (W) Unit of electric power dissipated
as heat when 1 amp of current flows through a component that has 1 volt applied
across it.

Zener A particular type of diode that will
flow current at a definite reverse-bias voltage level.

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