Chapter 3

Working with Op Amps

In This Chapter

arrow Familiarising yourself with op amps

arrow Exploring how feedback circuits work with op amps

arrow Looking at voltage comparators and summing amplifiers

arrow 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 ...

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