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Electronics is the manipulation of electrical current or electromagnetic fields by the use of electrical current or electromagnetic fields. The purpose of the manipulation is to use the current as a signal, carrying information. Ordinarily either the voltage or ampage of the current is varied with some kind of input to create the signal. The field was formerly known as radio electronics and was a minor speciality within the field of electrical engineering, centered on the study of the vacuum tube.

Before radio, of course, electricity had been used to carry information over telephone and telegraph wires. But these systems are based on the conversion of mechanical energy into electricity and back again in a process not much different from the conversion of electrical energy to light or heat. Electronic devices are based on the intricate, small-scale processing of the electrical current/voltage itself, although they often do have visual or mechanical interfaces with the external world.

Any electronic gadget has three parts-

1) Sensors or Transducers - These take signals(in the form of temprature,pressure,etc.) from physical world and convert them into current/voltage signals.

2) Electronic Circuits - These are electronic components woven together to manipulate/interpret/transform the signals.

3) Actuators - These are devices that transform current/voltage signals into physical form, where they can have some real use.

An example:

1) Television -

(a)Sensor - Antenna

(b)Circuit - Inside the TV box.

(c)Actuator - CRT/Screen to see the output.

All the complexities of a television system are designed to cause fluctuations in a magnetic field that deflects a stream of electrons, which in turn light up phosphorescent dots on the monitor screen which is the interface.

Various Components used in electronics are:

Electronic Components

1. Resistor
2. Capacitor
3. Inductor
4. transformer
5. Diodes
6. Transistors
7. field effect transistor
8. bipolar transistor
9. hall effect device
10. vacuum tube
11. cathode ray tube
12. photocell
14. light emitting diode
15. Opamp
16. integrated circuits or ICs

Analog Circuits Most analog electronic appliances, such as radio receivers, are constructed from arrays of a few types of circuits.

1. impedance match
2. electronic amplifier
3. electronic filter
4. electronic oscillator
5. electronic mixer
6. electronic detector
7. digital signal processing
8. Wheatstone bridge

Digital Circuits Computers, electronic clocks, and programmable logic controllers (used to control industrial processes) are usually constructed of digital circuits.

1. Logic Gates
2. Flip Flops
3. Counters
4. Registers

Also see Microprogramming


  1. 8085
  2. Z80
  3. 8086,8088,80286,80386,80486
  4. Pentium family
  5. 68000 family
  6. PowerPC family - G4
  7. PA-RISC family
  8. DEC Alpha
  9. MIPS architecture

Other related fields of Electronics are:

  1. Microelectronics
  2. Semiconductors
  3. Printed Circuits

Also see:

Electrical engineering

Some Links to related sites-

Datasheet Search Engines

Tutorials and Projects

Some other good sites

Various Courses on electronics going all over the world are-
1. ESC202 at IIT Kanpur,India
2. [| Electronics Club ] in IIT Kanpur,India