29:128 Electronics

Spring 2005

Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, The Univ. of Iowa



John A. Goree

512 VAN

phone 335-1843



Tu Th 9:30 - 10:45, 301 VAN

Tu, We 1:30-4:30, 561 VAN


An introductory course on electricity and magnetism, also some calculus


To train science students, both undergraduate and graduate, to:

  • build small practical circuits
  • make electronic measurements.

This course is suitable for students in all science departments. It is not intended solely for Physics and Astronomy students.

The laboratory is the focus of the learning experience in this course. The lecture serves primarily to prepare students for the laboratory.

This course is not highly theoretical. It has less math and less homework than most 100 level physics courses.

PDF files with more information


Grading policy


Lab Manual 2005 version part 1 (>1 MB)
Lab Manual 2005 version part 2 (>1 MB)

Lab: list of parts provided to students

Homework assignments

Measurement instruments

Among the skills you will develop are the use of these instruments:


analog oscilloscope:

digital oscilloscope:

function generator:

pulse generator:

bench power supply:


Circuits you will learn to use and build include:

  • analog:
    • voltage divider
    • current source
    • low-pass filter
    • high-pass filter
    • rectifier
    • power supply
    • diode limiter
    • diode clamp
    • emitter follower
    • transistor switch
    • transistor current source
    • common-emitter amplifier
    • differential amplifier
    • op-amp voltage follower
    • op-amp summing amplifier
    • op-amp difference amplifier
    • op-amp low-pass filter
    • op-amp high-pass filter
    • phototransistor light detector
  • digital:
    • gate circuits
    • flip-flop circuits
    • shift register
    • counters
    • LED display driver
    • switch debouncing
  • analog/digital:
    • oscillator
    • one-shot
    • digital-to-analog conversion
    • analog-to-digital conversion
Measurement techniques

You will learn these measurement methods:

  • continuity
  • dc voltage
  • ac voltage
  • dc current
  • resistance
  • frequency
  • triggering
  • rise time
  • phase response
  • frequency response
  • dc vs. ac input coupling
  • voltage regulator stiffness
  • amplifier gain
  • common-mode rejection ratio
  • input impedance
  • output impedance
  • amplifier saturation
  • timing diagrams
  • transient events
  • clocking
  • digitizing resolution
Special Project

Toward the end of the semester, you will design and build a circuit of your own to meet whatever purpose you like:

  • There will be no lectures and no regular lab exercises during this period.
  • At the beginning, you will give a 10-minute presentation in class on your proposed project. At the end, you will demonstrate your circuit.
  • The circuit could arise from your thesis project, or it could complement an existing instrument, for example your telephone or stereo. You could make a game, a circuit that demonstrates some mathematical or scientific concept, or something for a hobby, such as a temperature controller for a photographic darkroom. It is up to your imagination.
  • Your design must be your own.