Practical Analog, Digital, and Embedded Electronics for Scientists

Brett D DePaola


This book is different to other electronics texts available. First, it is short. Created for a one-semester course taken by physics students, both undergraduate and graduate it includes only the essentials and covers those topics only as deeply as needed in order to understand the material in the integrated laboratory exercises. Unlike many electronics texts for physics students, this one does not delve into the physics of devices. Instead, these are largely treated as black boxes having certain properties that are important to know for designing circuits. The physics comes when the students use their acquired electronics instrumentation knowledge to construct apparatus to make measurements. Since the detailed physics has been left out, this book should be equally useful for students in any of the physical or life sciences. This is the first textbook aimed at the non-electrical engineering student, that has both the generality on analog and digital electronics circuits, coupled to the very timely technology of embedded electronics. The book also features homework exercises, parts list and a suite of useful appendices.

Key Features

  • Combined lectures and laboratory course
  • Covers analog and digital electronics
  • Includes embedded systems
  • Homework problems with solutions
  • Complete inventory of required components

About Editors

Brett DePaola is a Professor of Physics at Kansas State University. He received his BS and MS in Physics from Miami University, and his PhD in Physics from The University of Texas at Dallas. Professor DePaola's research in atomic, molecular, and optical physics covers a wide range of topics, from ion-atom collisions to coherent control using ultra-short laser pulses. The over-arching theme is the understanding of basic physical processes at the atomic level. His most recent research explores how modulating the spectral phase of ultra-short laser pulses affects coherent excitation in atoms and simple molecules. Professor DePaola has made seminal contributions to the measurement technique known as MOTRIMS, in which ultra-cold technologies are combined with charged particle technologies to create a powerful diagnostic of ion-atom and photon-atom dynamics. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and has won numerous teaching awards and given invited lectures world-wide. He has held Visiting Professor positions at universities in Denmark and Germany, spent time as a Visiting Scientist at RIKEN in Japan, and was a Visiting JILA Fellow in Boulder, Colorado.

Table of Contents


I Lectures

1 Introduction

2 RC Circuits

3 Diodes & Transistors

4 Op Amps I

5 Op Amps II: Non-Ideal Behavior & Positive Feedback

6 Digital Gates: Combinational and Sequential Logic

7 Digital-Analog, Analog-Digital, and Phase-Locked Loops

8 Embedded Electronics


II Lab Manual

9 Getting Started

10 R's & C's

11 Transistors

12 Op Amps I

13 Op Amps II: Positive Feedback, Good & Bad

14 Digital Gates: Combinational and Sequential Logic

15 Digital-Analog, Analog-Digital, and Phase-Locked Loops

16 Embedded Electronics, Featuring the Beagle Bone Black


III Solutions to Homework

17 RC Circuits

18 Diodes & Transistors

19 Op Amps 1

20 Op-Amps 2

21 Digital Gates

22 Digital-Analog, Analog-Digital and Phase-Locked Loops



A Glossary of Terms

B The Linux Operating System

C Connecting to a Remote Computer on the Internet

D Editors

E Brief Primer on C++

F Moving Files onto and off of a Linux USB Port

G Introduction to Gnuplot

H spidev.c Listing

I Pinouts of Selected Components

J Setting Up the Beaglebone Black

K Parts Lists



Hardback ISBN: 9780750334891

Ebook ISBN: 9780750334914

DOI: 10.1088/978-0-7503-3491-4

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing


"The topics covered allow the course to build from simple circuits that the students may well already understand, through to measurements using embedded systems while covering a broad range of 'useful' circuits along the way. Key strengths are that it covers only what is required to enable understanding and utilisation of practical electronics for physical sciences. Employing user-friendly open-source microcontroller/computer platform to explore embedded systems is very useful; data acquisition into a computer is no longer a 'black box' for the students."  

Aidan T. Hindmarch, 2020 Department of Physics, Durham University, UK

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