Chapter 1

Introducing Circuit Analysis

In This Chapter

Understanding current and voltage

Applying laws when you connect circuit devices

Analyzing circuits with algebra and calculus

Taking some mathematical shortcuts

Circuit analysis is like the psychoanalysis of the electrical engineering world because it’s all about studying the behavior of circuits. With any circuit, you have an input signal, such as a battery source or an audio signal. What you want to figure out is the circuit’s output — how the circuit responds to a given input.

A circuit’s output is either a voltage or a current. You have to analyze the voltages and currents traveling through each element or component in the circuit in order to determine the output, although many times you don’t have to find every voltage and every current within the circuit.

Circuit analysis is challenging because it integrates a variety of topics from your math and physics courses in addition to introducing techniques specific to determining circuit behavior. This chapter gives you an overview of circuit analysis and some of the key concepts ...

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