Which One, AC or Semiconductors to study?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by AlgorithmicBrain, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. AlgorithmicBrain

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    Hello everyone!
    I am a Electric and Electronics Engineering student at universty as beginner. I wanted my expertise field to be on Electronics and have started by going through first volume of the e-book provided here 2-3 week ago.Later I did chapter 1 and 2 in the Experiments section.Now, I am stuck with a dilemma related to which volume I should go through first.My first plan was to continue with semiconductors, after that, I would finish with digital chapter to be able to enter electronical world at the end. However, when I saw some alternating current examples at the semiconductors volume, couldn't make a decision.Because alternating current seems too boring(at least for now), I didn't want to learn it first.Which one do you suggest? Should I go this way or stop by AC volume first?
  2. mitko89


    Sep 20, 2012
    AC boring?
    I recently got my masters in Electronics and also did fill my gaps with the books from this forum (thank you guys for providing those great materials). So, in my opinion, the order of reading is:
    2) Read AC to the filter part. And start reading the SEMI. Work with both in paralel;
    3) DIGI;
    Read the AC for sure. It's important not to skip it. About the digital... it's good to know, but I believe analog is far more valuable. Run the example schematics in spice, change component values, experiment.
    DerStrom8 and AlgorithmicBrain like this.
  3. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    AC is far from boring, and it is absolutely critical that you learn it. I think you'll find it more interesting once you get started reading. I highly recommend you go to AC and then move into semiconductors, or learn them side-by-side as mitko89 suggested. They are both very valuable subjects to learn, but I would have to say that AC is more important to understand, and you should learn it sooner rather than later.

    Good luck!
  4. mitko89


    Sep 20, 2012
    Let me tell you a story. This was my interview for a technical writer in one of the consumer electronics companies in my country.
    The R&D manager asked me to list the active electronic components. Then he asked me to tell him the difference between QFN and QFP. This was the boring.
    Then he draw a RC circuit composed of series battery, capacitor and resistor. He asked me what will be the behavior of that circuit. Then he changed the battery for sine wave generator and asked me the same question. After those two he asked me what is the cutoff frequency and what would happen if I change the capacitor with an inductor. After this he told me to draw a resonance bandpass filter and then modify the circuit to make it bandstop filter and then to make it active and add amplification.
    This is pretty much the essence of electronics, make sure you know it.
  5. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    Electricity comes in two forms: DC and AC. Sure, DC may be boring (it never changes, right?) but you will learn concepts such as Thevenin and Norton equivalents, nodal and mesh analysis, and such, which gives a firm mathematical basis of circuit analysis.

    Then learning AC analysis is a matter of extending these concepts towards components with variable (and sometimes imaginary) impedances.

    It is always best to learn how to walk before one runs.

    (And a final hint: the worst problems on faces in a digital circuit are analog in nature.)
  6. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Also note that all digital circuits are analog.
  7. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    I'm not trained in electronics of either type, but I know that in other sciences, learning the necessary math FIRST made it far far easier to learn the science. A good foundation in calculus and differential equations made wave analysis in physics, for instance, almost trivial.

    My point is, isn't the math for AC analysis a bit more advanced than what you need for the other stuff? That would argue for putting AC off a bit, until the math skills are in place. I wouldn't want to be learning sine and cosine at the same time I'm trying to learn AC circuits.
  8. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
    dc and ac are the basics, if you dont have them down, how can you advance in electronics? a lot of engineers dont have any training in vacuum tubes these days, I wonder how long before the same goes for solid state? afterall, how much do you have to know about transistors and diodes when they are all wrapped up in integrated circuits? ac and dc fundamentals will never go away.