Electronics is a branch of science which comprises physics, engineering, technology and their applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active devices to control electron flow by amplification and rectification, which distinguishes it from classical electrical engineering which uses passive effects such as resistance, capacitance and inductance to control current flow. To know about the difference between electrical and electronic devices, they must be defined first.
An electric device is defined as a device which converts electrical energy in to other energy forms like heat, sound and light etc. They can cause hazardous electrical shocks. A fan is an electric device which takes electric current as input and converts into rotational motions.
What are electronic devices?
Electronic devices are defined as those which control the flow of electrons to perform a specific task. Actually both electric and electronic are co-related terms. Electric means flow of electrons and electronic defines how to control this flow? Electronics is a term specifying the behavior of electrons under effect of electric field. In electronics, there are two types of components; active and passive. The components which deliver energy is active and component which receives this energy and need power supply is passive component. Capacitor, inductor and resistor are active components and semiconductors are passive components. Let’s know the factors which distinguish them.
Base of comparison
|Material used||Usually metals like copper and aluminum are used to conduct current.|
|Semiconductors like silicon and germanium control the flow.|
|principle||Covert electric energy to other energy forms||Use electric energy to do specific task|
|Time to respond||fast||slow|
|voltage||Operates at high voltage||Operates at low voltage|
|use||To do mechanical work||To code or decode and amplifying signal|
|example||Motor, generator, transformer||Amplifier, flip flop, transistor, microprocessor|
What is AC?
A current which continues to change its polarity with time from positive to negative cycle.
What is an amplifier?
Its purpose is to add additional power to a weak signal.
Attenuation measures the loss in power of signal, which is done in decibel unit.
What is capacitor?
An instrument used to store electrical energy, it stops the flow of direct current.
Direct current: current which is steady over time and flows in a single direction.
What is resistor?
A device which resists the flow of current through any material.
Inductor: an electric component which stores energy in magnetic field when current flows through it.
What is transistor?
A semiconductor device, to amplify a signal and electric power.
Transformer: a device used to transfer electric energy from one circuit to another.
Why can birds sit on power lines?
The answer is that the body of a bird is not a good conductor of electricity, so current continues to pass through copper wires instead of passing through bird’s body. Secondly, the bird will not be affected by electricity until it is on one wire, as its body touches other wire at same time, circuit completes and there will be an electricity passage from body of bird.