Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 August 2012
This chapter discusses electronics at a level somewhere between that of a handbook, which consists essentially of charts, tables, and graphs, and a textbook, where the interesting, important, and useful conclusions come only after well-developed discussions with examples. The aim here is a presentation that has sufficient continuity and readability that individual sections can be profitably read without having to refer to preceding sections or other texts. On the other hand, it is important to have useful and frequently referenced material in the form of readily accessible tables, graphs, and diagrams that are sufficiently self-explanatory that very little reference to the text material is necessary. Another important goal is vocabulary. A large amount of jargon in electronics is meaningless to the uninitiated, but when it is necessary to understand the properties of an electronic device from a written technical description, when writing the specifications for electronic equipment, or when talking to an electronics engineer, salesman, or technician, this vocabulary is essential. With this in mind, terms not current outside of electronics are italicized.
To be used to best advantage, this chapter should be supplemented with manufacturers' catalogs, data books, applications texts, handbooks, and more specialized texts that treat the topic of interest in depth. Manufacturers of laboratory electronic equipment, discrete devices, and integrated circuits have publications that describe, in clear practical terms, the properties of their products and their applications to a wide variety of tasks.