What is Electronics?
Electronics is known to be the branch of engineering that deals with the study of nature exhibited by electrons under the action of the applied electric field. Electronics is the derivation of electron mechanics.
More simply, we can say electronics is the combination of physics, engineering, technology, and applications dealing with the release, flow and control of charged particles in vacuum and matter. So, we can say that it deals with the devices responsible for controlling the flow of electrons.
It is different from classical electrical engineering in a way that it incorporates active devices that are responsible for controlling the flow of electrons. This is done through the process of amplification of rectification in electronics whereas electrical circuits make use of passive elements such as resistor, inductor, and capacitor for the same.
History of Electronics
The first electronic component was a diode vacuum tube, invented by J.A. Fleming. However, Lee De Forest invented a triode which was a three-element vacuum tube that performs voltage amplification.
It is known to us that electronic circuits find numerous applications in various household items like television, computers, electronic watches, etc. The use of electronic components in measuring devices leads to provide the precise outcomes of the performed measurement.
The field of electronics has gained its initial importance around 1900 and after that, it has shown significant growth in the 1940s to 1960s when transistors, radios, etc. were invented. Not only this, but the invention of electronic components also has pushed the world towards the space race with the launch of Sputnik and in the 1970s the arrival of Personal Computers has increased the importance of electronics.
We have already discussed in the beginning that electronics are based on charged particles. More simply, sometimes we say that electronics are associated with electrons.
Basically, electrons are negatively charged bodies. An atom is known to be the smallest individual element of which any material is constituted. The nucleus of the atom contains positively charged particles called protons and one or more electrons surround the nucleus. There are three possible states of any atoms and the states are neutral, positively charged, and negatively charged.
An atom is regarded as a neutral atom when the numerical count of electron and proton is equal. While when we say an atom is positively charged then it has a greater number of protons in count as compared to electrons. The negatively charged atoms contain a greater number of electrons than protons.
There is another important term that is associated with charged particles and it is regarded as Ions. So, an ion is regarded as an atom that does not contain an equal number of electrons and protons. Ions are the result of a chemical reaction under which the neutral atom gain or lose electrons.
How charge is balanced?
Atom exhibits the property of the matter that it constitutes. We have recently discussed that protons are positively charged while electrons are negatively charged. The one that has a neutral charge is called the neutron. The positive and negative charges are simply differentiated on the basis of the polarities that the two hold.
The charges of the same polarity exhibit repulsion while the charges of different polarities possess attraction. A combination of proton and electron gives rise to a hydrogen atom. The force of attraction or repulsion is the electrostatic force and is dependent on the distance of separation between the two charges that are considered.
One must note here that due to missing electrons in an atom there will be more positive charge and because of the excess electron, the negative charge will be more.
The combination of protons and neutrons gives rise to a tightly bound nucleus of an atom. The nucleus over here is surrounded by various electrons at a certain distance from it and the electrostatic force existing between the protons of the nucleus and electrons is responsible for binding. There is a cloud of electrons around the nucleus and this cloud is formed by overlapped shells or bands of electrons that are bonded to the nucleus of the atom.
Here the inner band is known as the conduction band while the outer band is called the valence band. The electrons in the conduction band are bounded to the nucleus more strongly than the electrons in the valence band.
Electronics – The Charge Flow
The flow of charged particles (electrons) within material under various conditions relates to the study of Electronics. Earlier the theory was centered around the study of vacuum tubes but is now associated with the flow of electrons in conducting materials. So, even if the time has changed still the whole scenario is centered on the movement of electrons through a medium.
To have a better understanding of the same consider a circuit with a combination of a voltage source and a resistor. When power is provided to the circuit then electrons start flowing from the negative terminal of the battery to the positive terminal through the resistor in the configuration. So, here the resistor is present in the conduction path that restricts the flow of electrons.
One can assume this circuit orientation as a pipe within which the water flows from one end to another by overcoming various barriers in the path that slow down the motion of water. For a level pipe, the pressure all over within it will be the same and therefore no significant flow can be noticed. However, when the pipe exists in titled orientation then a difference in pressure within the pipe at two ends will be noticed and water will flow within the pipe. In a similar manner, the flow of electrons in any circuit will take place.
Electricity is the result of the flow of electrons in an electric circuit and this flow takes place due to the difference in electron density. Basically, when electron density is higher at one point than another then in order to balance the charge migration of charged particles will take place.
Applications of Electronics
Today’s world is very much equipped with electronics. From a small television remote to the big television system, from a small mobile phone to the big computer system, everything is the result of electronics.
Not only these but a small pen drive that can carry huge data is electronic in nature. The ATM machines which we found at various places in our city that provides a money withdrawing facility is also electronic device. Along with that, there are digital cameras through which pictures and videos can be captured and stored for the future are also an electronic entity.