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Electronics and Communications for Scientists and Engineers


Author: Martin Plonus

Publisher: Academic Press


Publish Date: April 12, 2001

ISBN-10: 125330847

Pages: 415

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Focus of the Book

Although the audience for this book is the same as that for broad-based electrical engineering texts, this book differs in length, structure, and emphasis. Whereas the traditional texts for nonelectrical engineering cover circuits and electronics and then treat electrical machinery, we believe that it is more important for today’s students to be knowledgeable in digital technology than in electrical machinery. After developing circuits and analog electronics in the early chapters of this text, we continue with digital electronics and conclude with chapters on the digital computer and on digital communications—chapters that are normally not included in books for non-EEs. The text is intended for students who need to understand modem electronics and communication. Much of the material in the book is developed from the first principles, so previous courses on circuits, for example, are not required; only freshman math and physics courses, and the elementary treatment of circuits that freshman physics provides, are expected. The emphasis throughout the book is on applications and on understanding the underlying principles. For example, Chapter 8 is presented from the perspective of a user who needs to understand the various subsystems of a computer, including the relationship of hardware and software such as operating systems and application programs. Expertise in designing computers is thus left to more advanced courses. Similarly, Chapter 9 on digital communication is sufficiently detailed to present the information sampling and pulse code modulation necessary for an understanding of such diverse subjects as digital signal processing, the audio CD, and the Internet. More advanced topics are left to specialized communication texts.

Presenting and teaching circuits, electronics, and digital communications from a single textbook can be an advantage if nonmajors are limited to a single EE course, which seems to be the trend at many schools.

Motivation for the Book

Electrical engineering began in the power industry, rapidly progressed to electronics and communications, and then entered the computer age in the 1960s. Today, electrical and electronic devices, analog and digital, form the backbone of such diverse fields as computer engineering, biomedical engineering, and optical engineering, as well as financial markets and the Internet. For example, the electronics in a modern aircraft constitute about 50% of the total cost.

This text is an outgrowth of lecture notes for a one-term course titled Applications of Electronic Devices that is offered, on an elective basis, to non-electrical-engineering students. It provides a sufficiently deep understanding of this subject for students to interact intelligently with other engineers. The goal is not so much to teach design as to present basic material in sufficient depth so that students can appreciate and understand the application chapters on operational amplifiers, the digital computer, and digital communication networks. A suitable textbook for such a course did not exist. Typical electronics texts omit circuits and communications and are too detailed. On the other hand, texts on electrical engineering for non-EEs are very broad, with material on machinery and power engineering that is not relevant to electronics and communication. In addition, the breadth of these texts, when used in a one-term course, often forces the omission of certain sections, making the flow of the presentation choppy. Finally, encyclopedic books that are useful as references for designing circuits are much too advanced for nonmajors. What is needed is a text brief enough for a one-term course that begins with chapters on AC and DC circuits, then progresses to analog and digital electronics, and concludes with application chapters on contemporary subjects such as digital computers and digital communication networks–demonstrating the importance as well as the underlying basis of electronics in modern technology. These views were used as guidelines for writing this text.

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