Syllabus[1] for


Analog and Digital Electronics (PHYSCS 330)

Spring 2009


MW 4:50 – 6:05 PM


Department of Physics

The University of WI-Whitewater



Instructor:  Paul M. Rybski, Ph.D.

Office:  Upham 163 (472-5766)     Laboratory:  Upham 163A (472-3372)



Office Hours – MTWR 9:00 – 11:00 AM

or by appointment


Course Prerequisites:  Physics 181 or Physics 141 or consent of instructor


Principal Texts (available through UW-Whitewater Textbook Rental)


                  1.             Robert E. Simpson.  Introductory Electronics for Scientists and Engineers, 2nd.                                        edition (Boston:  Allyn and Bacon, Inc.), 1987.  ISBN 0-205-08377-3.


                  2.             Thomas C. Hayes and Paul Horowitz.  Student Manual for the Art of Electronics                                                       (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press), 1989.  ISBN 0-521-37709-9.



Other required materials


                  You will need a scientific calculator, the satisfactory operation of which is your responsibility (e.g., have the instruction book with you along with a spare set of batteries).  Bring it to class every day for use in activities.  You will also need to purchase linear (5 div/inch), log/linear, log/log and polar graph paper as you need it during the course.



Course Objectives


                  The two texts I have chosen for this course are used in electronics courses in physics departments at major universities throughout the country.  Both are practically oriented.  None teach the subject from a professional engineering or theoretical physics point of view.  They seek to acquaint you with design techniques that yield working circuits with a minimum of calculation.  This course will be taught in a manner consistent with their philosophy.  Your first assignment at the beginning of the course is to read the introductory material in both texts. 


                  Though both analog and digital electronics are listed in the title of this course, only Analog Electronics will be studied.  In the first two-thirds of this course, we will cover the design and use of passive components, such as resistors, capacitors and inductors;  and active analog electronic devices, such as bipolar and field effect transistors and circuits constructed from these parts.  From then until the end of the course, we will cover operational amplifiers and their applications, as well as how to combine discrete transistors and diodes with op amps to create unique analog signal processing devices.  The course will conclude with a few lectures on electronic circuit and instrument construction techniques.


                  I do not intend this course to make you an expert analog designer. Instead, you will emerge conversant with analog design terminology , permitting you, first, to study existing designs to determine their functions and possible limitations and, secondly, to create simple but stable analog devices for preprocessing analog data before it is digitized and collected by a computer.


                  To encourage motivation, I want you to think of some variety of electronics device that you would either like to study or to construct using the concepts and tools introduced in this course.  Such a project will help you integrate the concepts in the course and serve as a memory aid in mastering them.  The due date for submitting to me your ideas on such a device will be March 9th.  If you find by March 2nd that you cannot think of such a device, please see me during my office hours or by appointment between March 2nd and 9th.



Course Philosophy


                  I am a "mastery-oriented" instructor:  I want you to achieve the highest grade possible, and I will work with you -- both inside and out of class -- to make this possible.  Each of you brings to this class a unique set of skills and deficiencies.  If left uncorrected, your deficiencies might determine your grade in this class, a possibility both you and I must work to avoid.  As important to me as your mastery of the course material is your enjoyment of it;  and you certainly will not enjoy the course if you are having trouble with it.  If you are having trouble, ask questions!  The more you ask, the more you will learn.  Remember:  there is no such thing as a stupid question;  malicious questions, yes, but not stupid ones.  So don't hesitate to ask questions during or after class:  your problems are important to me!


                  Those of you who might be uncomfortable with asking a question in class should visit me during my office hours or arrange for an appointment.  My office hours are given above.  If you need to reach me by telephone, you may call my office number (472-5766) any time from 9 am until 6 pm.  If I am not in my office, an answering machine will take your message along with a telephone number at which I can reach you.  Alternately, you can reach me by Email at





                  Attendance at all lectures is expected, and attendance will be taken.  If you must miss a lecture or laboratory, please call me in advance and make arrangements for someone in the class to share their notes with you.  Work assigned in a given lecture that you miss will still be due the following lecture, unless you have an excused absence.  An excused absence is one for which you have been excused in advance by the instructor and you provide him with written documentation on your return of the University activity that took you away from class or of the medical or family emergency it represented.  Any work assigned in lecture  and not made up within a period of time negotiated with me in advance after your excused absence will not be accepted and will be recorded as a zero.


                  Attendance at announced examinations is mandatory.  Those with unexcused absences will be given a zero grade on that examination.  Those with excused absences will be able to make up the missed examination by appointment with the instructor.  Permission to miss an examination must be obtained from the instructor prior to the examination. 


                  University policy adopted by Faculty Senate and the Whitewater Student Government states that students will not be academically penalized for missing class in order to participate in university-sanctioned events.  They will be provided an opportunity as outlined above to make up any work that is missed.  A university-sanctioned event is defined as any intercollegiate athletic contest or other such event as determined by the Provost.  Activity sponsors are responsible for obtaining the Provost's prior approval of an event as being university-sanctioned and for providing the Provost an official list of participants.  Students are responsible for notifying their instructors in advance of their participation in such events by providing them with a note written and signed by both the activity’s sponsor and the Provost’s Office.  A student that fails to present such a note prior to the event will not be awarded an excused absence.



Progress Evaluations


                  Apart from preparing good lectures and being responsive to questions, there are other ways in which I will try to enrich your learning experience.


   A.   Homework


                  Mastery of conceptual material in the physical sciences is greatly aided by frequent problem assignments, so I intend to assign at least one problem per lecture period.  The answers are due the following lecture period.  On assigned homework, I encourage you to work in study groups.  You may collaborate with classmates in arriving at a given solution, but each of you is responsible for composing his or her own answer.  As in other physics courses, I am most concerned about your procedure in solving a problem, not just your getting the correct answer.  So show complete solutions in answering all questions.


                  To provide you with rapid feedback, an answer sheet with fully worked-out answers will be distributed at the beginning of the class when homework problems are due.  For that reason, late homework will not be accepted, except in cases of an excused absence (see Attendance above).


   B.   Quizzes


                  Quizzes will be a special form of homework.  They will be assigned on Wednesdays and will attempt to draw together the material discussed during the week.  Unlike the homework, you must work on quizzes by yourself.  Since they are "take-home" in nature, you will be on your honor to complete the work yourself.


   C.   Tests


                  Two Summary Exams and a Final Exam will be given in the course.  Each Summary Exam will be given after about 1.5 month of material has been covered.  The Final Exam will be comprehensive.  Each Summary Exam – the first distributed March 18th and due March 30th, the second distributed May 6th and due May 11th – and the Final Examination – distributed May 11th and due no later than 9:45 AM Tuesday, May 19th – will be "take-home" and is to be completed individually on the honor system:  you may ask me for clarifications only.


   D.  Extra Credit


                  From time to time, I will assign Extra Credit work for those who desire to acquire knowledge of greater depth in analog or digital electronics.  One or more of these may be projects that will take an extended period of time.  See below for how Extra Credit will figure in your final course grade.


   E.   Grade Assignment


                  Grades on the homework and quizzes will be assigned on an absolute scale:


                       A = 90 - 100;  B = 80 - 89.9;  C = 70 - 79.9;  D = 60 - 69.9; and F < 60.


Only the tests will be "curved", depending on class performance.  Such a curve will only help your grade;  no curve will be any higher than the scale given above.


                  Your final grade will depend on your homework, quiz and test grades weighted as follows:  Homework -- 25%;  Quizzes  -- 25%;  the sum of all Exams, 50%.  Since there are two Summary Exams and one Final, with the Final worth 1.5 individual Summary Exams, that makes each Summary worth 11.1% and the Final worth 16.7%.  Extra Credit activities will add an additional 2.5% to your existing grade, on a percentage basis out of 100%.  Your lowest grade in each of the homework and quiz categories will be dropped before your final grade is assigned.  Final grades will be assigned on a “whole-grade” basis.  Plus and minus grades will not be assigned.


Tentative Course Schedule (Chapters from Simpson)


Jan. 21, 26                           Direct Current Circuits                                                    Chapter 1

Jan. 28-Feb. 2                   Alternating Current Circuits                                        Chapter 2

Feb. 4, 9                                Fourier Analysis and Pulses                                        Chapter 3

Feb. 11, 16                          Semiconductor Physics                                                    Chapter 4

Feb. 18, 23, 25                                   Bipolar Transistors                                                              Chapter 5

Mar. 2, 4, 9                         Field-effect Transistors                                                    Chapter 6

Mar. 11, 16, 18                Feedback                                                                                     Chapter 7

March 18                               Summary Examination #1 distributed

March 30                               Summary Examination #1 due

March 30, April 1, 6    Noise                                                                                              Chapter 8

April 8, 13, 15                                    Operational Amplifier Principles                             Chapter 9

April 20, 22, 27               Operational Amplifier Circuits                                                    Chapter 10

April 29, May 4, 6        Special Circuits with Op Amps                                Chapter 11

May 6                                      Summary Examination #2 distributed

May 11                                   Summary Examination #2 due

May 11                                   Final Examination distributed

May 19                                   Final Examination due before 9:45 AM           


University Policy Statements


                  The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is dedicated to a safe, supportive and non-discriminatory learning environment.  It is the responsibility of all undergraduate and graduate students to familiarize themselves with University policies regarding Special Accommodations, Misconduct, Religious Beliefs Accommodation, Discrimination and Absence due to University-sponsored Events.  (For details, please refer to the Undergraduate and Graduate Timetables;  the Rights and Responsibilities section of the Undergraduate Bulletin;  the Academic Requirements and Policies and the Facilities and Services sections of the Graduate Bulletin;  the Student Academic Disciplinary Procedures [UWS Chapter 14];  and the Student Nonacademic Disciplinary Procedures [UWS Chapter 17].)

[1] Revised January 19, 2009