Working with Op Amps
In This Chapter
Familiarising yourself with op amps
Exploring how feedback circuits work with op amps
Looking at voltage comparators and summing amplifiers
Considering popular op-amp packages
Have you ever played Operation, the game in which you use electrified tweezers to remove plastic body parts from little holes in a body? The edges of the holes are metal conductors, and so if you touch the edge of the hole with the tweezers while trying to remove the plastic piece inside, a buzzer sounds and the patient’s nose (a red light bulb) lights up.
An operational amplifier (op amp for short) is a little like this game, in that the slightest variation in the input (your hand holding the tweezers) is amplified into a huge variation in the output (the flashing red nose and jarring buzzer).
Op amps are among the most common types of integrated circuits (ICs) – probably second in popularity only to the 555 timer chip we describe in Chapter 2 of this minibook. In this chapter, you find out what an op amp is and how you can use one in different circuits. So scrub ...