Physics 203 Syllabus

Advent 2007


Dr. Randolph Peterson

Woods 223

Office Hours: WF 2:00-3:00, Th 2:00-3:00, anytime that you find me


This course will examine the major active and passive electronic components, focusing on their use in standard scientific and engineering circuits. By testing and experimenting with these electronic devices we will explore the simple models of potential differences and current flow. This extensive experimentation will improve your skills and theoretical understanding of electronics to a level that will allow you to meet the challenges of the advanced electronic projects near the end of the course. After completing this course, you will be able to creatively pursue any of your experimental ideas through the design, building, or assembly of the necessary electronic circuits.


The text for this course is Principles of Electronic Instrumentation by Diefenderfer and Holton.


Grading Policy:

Your final letter grade will be determined from the following grading scale,


Scale: 92 - 97 A 98 - 100 A+, 90, 91 A-

82 - 87 B 88, 89 B+, 80, 81 B-

72 - 77 C 78, 79 C+


Your lecture grade will be determined from periodic examinations of your laboratory and homework notebooks. You must receive a passing grade on every examination of your notebooks to pass the course. If your notebooks pass all the examinations, you will receive a final lecture average of 72. If you do not pass all the examinations of your notebooks, you will be given an F in the course. Should you not receive a passing grade on a particular examination of your notebooks, you may correct or complete the work and resubmit your book (no later than one week later) for re-grading.

Although a final lecture average of 72 may not appear to be attractive, you may increase your final lecture average with extra credit points from two term papers, a midterm exam, and a final exam.



The exams are for extra credit only. All extra credit points will be added to your final lecture average. The amount of extra credit is based on the following schedule:

A (90 - 100) 7 points extra-credit

B (80 - 89) 3 points extra-credit

C (70 - 79) 1 point extra-credit

D or F (below 70) no points extra-credit


Each exam is a closed-book, closed-note exam. The questions on the exams will be based upon examples worked in class or given as homework assignments. All calculated results must be given in proper SI units, using scientific notation. It is expected that you will know the definitions of all SI units and the conversions between SI units, if those units have been used in class or on homework problems.


Term Papers

Up to two term papers may be submitted for extra credit, in the same manner as an exam. The papers must be a discussion of an experiment that you have performed using a Macintosh computer with LabVIEW. The data should be acquired through a serial port of the Macintosh under control of a LabVIEW program that you write. Your experiment must measure the physical properties or motion of some situation to be studied by your experiment


One paper must be your proposal with details of the circuit, its anticipated performance, and a sample LabVIEW program. It is due in class on November 21, and will be returned (accepted, rejected, or to be altered) by November 26. Your proven expertise (from attendance at LabVIEW tutorials) with LabVIEW along with your accepted proposal will constitute a "term paper" for grading purposes. Your completed project along with a written report on the results of the project will constitute another "term paper" for grading purposes. It is possible to earn up to 14 points extra credit on this project.



We will spend most of this semester exploring electronics in a lab setting. Each day's lecture will include some experiment which must be finished before the next lecture period. I want you to record notes on these exercises, as well as the data that you collect. Please finish the analysis of the data in your lab notebook. This information will form the basis of discussion in the next lecture period. I will collect these notebooks periodically and assign a grade based on the quality and completeness of your work (but not based on the neatness of the lab book).



Problems from Principles of Electronic Instrumentation may be assigned to help you develop insight into this semester's circuits. These problems may be included on the exams. You should work these as the semester progresses to prepare for the extra credit exams and to develop your analytical skills.



Attendance in lecture is required, according to normal university policy. It is your responsibility to turn in material by the announced due dates and to provide your lab notebook at the requested times for grading. Late material will be accepted only by prior approval of this instructor. Without such approval, you must present a letter from a doctor, lawyer, etc. describing the reasons for your absence. Late material may be accepted under these conditions.


Course of Study

This course is an introduction to and a survey of D.C. and A.C. circuits, and the many electronic components used in electrical circuits. It is not a complete coverage of electronics, but it will provide ample opportunity for each student develop confidence and skill in creating circuits to solve scientific and engineering problems. Below is an outline of the most of the circuits and components that we will study this semester.


1. Intro to digital multimeter, resistors

2. Ohm's law for resistors

3. Voltage divider with two resistors, potentiometers

4. Kirchhoff's law and Thevenin's equivalences for resistors

5. Batteries and bulbs

6. Intro to capacitors and code, RC time constant

7. IV curves for diodes - switching, Ge, Si, LED, Zener

8. 2N2222 transistor, beta

9. 2N2222 Transistor switch

10. JFET characteristic curve

11. JFET switch, drain curve

12. Logic gates from transistors

13. Oscilloscope as a voltmeter, AC frequencies and amplitudes

14. TTL logic gates

15. RS flip flop

16. Other flip flops

17. Drivers, displays, counters

18. Crystal oscillators

19. Reactance and impedance R, L, C

20. RC filter, voltage divider, phase shift in AC circuits

21. RLC series and parallel resonance circuits

22. JFET amplifier

23. Transistor amplifier

24. Emitter follower amplifier

25. Oscillators and positive feedback

26. Op-amp inverting and non-inverting

27. Op-amp adder

28. Op-amp common-mode rejection, Schmitt trigger

29. Op-amp oscillator

30. Transformers and power supplies

31-33. Introduction to LabView interfacing, development of project proposals

34. Shift registers

35. Synchronous and asynchronous counters

36. Digital to Analog converters

37. Analog to digital converters

38-40. Project development

41. Project demonstration