Art of Electronics & math

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by sbixby, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. sbixby

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 8, 2010
    Hi, all...

    I've been working my way through a book here and there to teach myself electronics. I was a dual major in Math & CS - CS pays the bills, the math sorta evaporated.

    My first book was Grob's Basic Electronics, 8th Ed - because I found it cheap. I am able to go through this book and feel good about all the math I've done there.

    Then I move on to Horowitz/Hill's "Art of Electronics" and it seems as if I jumped into another planet's classrooms. The math in there just isn't making sense half the time, no real steps between one line and the next, often. All whining aside...

    Anyone have suggestions for another text or two that covers some of the math that H&H seems to presume everyone sees immediately?

    By way of example: Chapter 1 , page 14, about Zener diodes. There's a simple regulator example in fig 1.14 and a few lines of equations after.

    (Frustration with LaTex - firing up the scanner...)

    The first fragment is Ohm's law, easy enough.

    The second fragment I believe involves a bit of long-forgotten calculus, but the gist is the same, we're just using small-change (delta) values instead of absolute values.

    The third fragment loses me entirely - Where is this stuff coming from? (I saw the Rdyn snippet on the previous page, but...) I'm just not seeing it.

    So hopefully I can find a book that uses the math the way H&H do so I can make sense of their jumps from one thought train to another.

    Any suggestions?
  2. ssutton

    New Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    It may seem too simple, but the book "getting started in electronics" by forest mimms is a classic. It was the genesis of my career as a controls engineer. Read the book, but DO EVERY EXAMPLE in the book and don't move on to the next example until you FULLY understand the one your working on.

  3. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
  4. sbixby

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 8, 2010
    Ok, Malvino's "Electronics Principles" (and experiments guide) on it's way. I'm not usually prone to spending big bucks on formal textbooks, but I'm frustrated with AoE. So many people point at it as one of the best books out there, but it's not sinking in. :-/

  5. Jony130

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 17, 2009
    These equations use in "Art of Electronics" are very simple one.

    First is the Ohm's law
    The current in this circuit is equal to:

    I = ( Vin - Vout)/R

    Next they use small-signal model.
    And this delta Δ represents small change in voltage or small change in current. And we replace the Zener diode by resistor equal to its dynamic resistance Rdyn.

    So we have this diagram


    ΔI = ( ΔVin - ΔVout)/R = ΔVin/(R + Rdyn)


    ΔVout = Rdyn * ΔI = Rdyn * ( ΔVin - ΔVout)/R = Rdyn/R * (ΔVin - ΔVout)

    And finally solving for ΔVout we get

    ΔVout = Rdyn/ ( Rdyn + R ) * ΔVin (Voltage divider equation).

    And the "Art of Electronics" is really good book but not for complete beginners in electronics field .
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  6. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
    Did you buy new or used? there is a place on the page to click to buy used. I've bought $100 books for under $10 and always got real nice books. The Malvino books give the formulas AND explain why it works that way. I'm 63 and teaching myself too,this site is really the biggest help though!
  7. sbixby

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 8, 2010
    Half and half - I bought used the primary textbook ($80ish vs $144), and the ancillary book was reasonable at new price, since the used ones sounded ratty for $20 less.
  8. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
    My vote is for Malvino's too.
  9. sbixby

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 8, 2010
    So, I'm happily reading Malvino/Bates "Electronic Principles, 7ed". As other responders stated, this is a nice book! I like it.

    Alas, I would *really* like to find a list of answers to even-numbered problems. Anyone here have access to McGraw-Hill's instructor-side site? I don't see any mention of a separate instructor's manual for 7th-Ed.

    Also - I tried tracking down Albert Malvino for this information, via and the McGraw-Hill site, but seems to have gone away. Mail sent to 'al' at that domain also bounces. Supposedly he has a "visual calculator" for electronics that is supposed to be a nice little program, I just can't access it that I know of.

    I don't know if he's still around, per se, even. :(