Physics 220:       Physical Electronics   Fall Term 2010


Instructor: Matthew Stoneking             Office: Younchild 110        Phone: X6724                     email: stonekim

Office Hours: M-F, 9-10 AM, or by appointment

Catalog Description:

A laboratory course covering analysis, construction, and testing of circuits used in present-day experimental research.  Strict adherence to standard laboratory practice is required.


Meeting Place and Times:

All classes will meet in Youngchild Room 136.  Mondays and Fridays are lab days and class will be from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Wednesdays are lecture days and class will be from 1:30 PM to 2:40 PM.  However, on the day of the midterm exam (Wed. 13 Oct.), you will have from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM to complete the exam. 


Required Text:

·         The Art of Electronics, by Horowitz and Hill, 2nd Edition, Cambridge Univ. Press (1989). Available at the bookstore in the Memorial Union.

·         Early in the term, you will need your text from Physics 150: University Physics, by Young and Freedman. In addition to the sections of assigned reading, you will find it helpful to read and/or review chapters 23-26 and 29-31 of University Physics:


Other Required Materials:

·         National Bound Notebook.



·         Introductory Electronics for Scientists and Engineers, by Robert R. Simpson, Allyn and Bacon (1987). Copies in the lab.

·         Basic Electronics for Scientists, by James J. Brophy, McGraw-Hill (1977). Copies in the lab.

·         Building Scientific Apparatus, by Moore, Davis, and Coplan, Perseus Books (1989). Copies in the lab.


Grades:  Final grades will be based on the following weighted components:

1) Notebook Record (read three times during the term) 30%

2) Midterm Exam 20 %

3) Formal Laboratory Report 20 %

4) Homework 10%

5) Final Exam 20%


Exams: There is one (in-class) midterm exam and a final exam.



Students should read the assigned sections of the text and the lab instructions before coming to class.  All raw data and observations made in the lab must be recorded immediately, neatly, and comprehensively directly into the lab notebook.  Graphs must be executed neatly and uncertainties should be indicated.  Clear labeling of axes is important.




Homework is due at the beginning of Wednesday classes.



Each student must write a formal paper describing the common-emitter amplifier experiment and its results.  The paper should be five to eight pages in length and should be patterned after a journal article (such as papers in Reviews of Scientific Instruments).  This paper provides the opportunity to sort out of the notebook the relevant data and observations and organize them into a logical and compelling presentation.  Graphs and data already incorporated into the laboratory notebook might be included in the formal paper, but not necessarily.

Guidelines for Electronics Papers

Regulations and Safety Considerations:

Electrical instruments are vulnerable to damage.  Never, for example, connect a voltmeter across and unknown potential unless the meter’s full scale setting is known to be greater than the maximum possible value of the potential difference.  Always make good electrical connections, which means solder connections should be used whenever possible.  Use shielded cables.  Rarely use clip leads and never remove the leads from a VOM or digital voltmeter.  ALWAYS UNPLUG SOLDERING IRONS BEFORE LEAVING THE LABORATORY.  NEVER REMOVE AN INSTRUMENT, BOOK, OR MANUAL FROM THE LABORATORY.




Key: HH = reading from Horowitz & Hill, UP = reading from University Physics

Week Beginning


(1:00 – 4:00)


(1:30 – 2:40)


(1:00 – 4:00)

September 13


UP Ch. 25-26

Lab 1:

Digital Oscilloscope

Lecture 1:

D.C. Circuits

Lab 2:

Voltage Divider

September 20


UP Ch.  30-31

Lab 3:

RC Filter

Lecture 2:

A.C. Circuits

Impedance Notes


Problem Set #1 Due

PS#1 Solutions

Lab 4:

Attenuating Probe


Notebook Due

September 27


HH Ch. 1

Lab 5:

RLC Circuits


Lecture 3:

Diodes and Transistors


Problem Set #2 Due

PS#2 Solutions

Lab 6:



October 4


HH Ch. 2

Lab 7:

Bipolar Junction Transistors

Lecture 4:

Transistor Amplifiers

Notes on Common-Emitter Amp


Problem Set #3 Due

PS#3 Solutions

Lab 8:

Common-Emitter Amplifier

October 11


HH Ch. 3


Lab 8 (continued):

Common-Emitter Amplifier


Midterm Exam


Lab 8 (continued):

Common-Emitter Amplifier

October 18


HH Ch. 4

Lab 9:

Op Amps

Lecture 5:

Op Amps

Notes on Operational Amplifiers


Notebook Due


Midterm Reading Period

 No Class

October 25


HH Ch. 8

Lab 9 (continued)

Op Amps

Lecture 6:

Logic Gates

Notes on Logic Gates


Problem Set #4 Due

PS#4 Solutions

Lab 10:

Logic Gates


November 1


HH Ch. 8

Lab 10 (continued):

Logic Gates


Draft of Paper Due

Lecture 7:


Notes on Flip-Flops

Lab 11:


November 8


HH Ch. 5

Lab 11 (continued):


Lecture 8:

Registers and Counters

Notes on Counters

Lab 12:



Final Draft of Paper Due

November 15


HH Ch. 5

Lab 13:

Oscillators and Clocks

Notes on Oscillators and Clocks 

Complete Unfinished Labs


Problem Set #5 Due

PS#5 Solutions

Notebook Due


No Class

Final Exam:  3:00 PM, Tuesday 23 November 2010