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Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. This distinguishes it from classical electrical engineering as it uses active devices to control electron flow by amplification and rectification rather than just using passive effects such as resistance, capacitance and inductance. The identification of the electron in 1897, along with the subsequent invention of the vacuum tube which could amplify and rectify small electrical signals, inaugurated the field of electronics and the electron age. This distinction started around 1906 with the invention by Lee De Forest of the triode, which made electrical amplification of weak radio signals and audio signals possible with a non-mechanical device. Until 1950, this field was called "radio technology" because its principal application was the design and theory of radio transmitters, receivers, and vacuum tubes.

The term "solid-state electronics" emerged after the first working transistor was invented by William Shockley, Walter Houser Brattain and John Bardeen at Bell Labs in 1947. The MOSFET (MOS transistor) was later invented by Mohamed Atalla and Dawon Kahng at Bell Labs in 1959. The MOSFET was the first truly compact transistor that could be miniaturised and mass-produced for a wide range of uses, revolutionizing the electronics industry, and playing a central role in the microelectronics revolution and Digital Revolution. The MOSFET has since become the basic element in most modern electronic equipment, and is the most widely used electronic device in the world.

Electronics is widely used in information processing, telecommunication, and signal processing. The ability of electronic devices to act as switches makes digital information-processing possible. Interconnection technologies such as circuit boards, electronics packaging technology, and other varied forms of communication infrastructure complete circuit functionality and transform the mixed electronic components into a regular working system, called an electronic system; examples are computers or control systems. An electronic system may be a component of another engineered system or a standalone device. most electronic devices use semiconductor components to perform electron control. Commonly, electronic devices contain circuitry consisting of active semiconductors supplemented with passive elements; such a circuit is described as an electronic circuit. Electronics deals with electrical circuits that involve active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes, integrated circuits, optoelectronics, and sensors, associated passive electrical components, and interconnection technologies. The nonlinear behaviour of active components and their ability to control electron flows makes amplification of weak signals possible.

The study of semiconductor devices and related technology is considered a branch of solid-state physics, whereas the design and construction of electronic circuits to solve practical problems come under electronics engineering. This article focuses on engineering aspects of electronics.

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Joseph Henry (December 17, 1797 – May 13, 1878) was a Scottish-American scientist. During his lifetime, he was considered one of the greatest American scientists since Benjamin Franklin. While building electromagnets, he discovered the electromagnetic phenomenon of self-inductance. He also discovered mutual inductance independently of Faraday, though Faraday was the first to publish his results. His work on the electromagnetic relay was the basis of the electrical telegraph, jointly invented by Samuel Morse and Charles Wheatstone. The SI unit of inductance, the henry, is named after him.

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Credit: User:Omegatron
Various phone jack symbols, to show every type of functionality.

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Credit: User:Chameleon
Map of the world colored by type of plug used.


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August 14, 2014

512K Day arrives, surpassing some routers capacity, breaking the internet. More...

November 19, 2008

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) said that repairing the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will cost up to 16.6 million or US$21 million. More...

April 30, 2008

HP Labs announces the creation of a Memristor, the fourth basic element of electronic circuits with the Resistor, Capacitor, and Inductor.

December 4, 2007

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On the third day of the 2007 Taipei IT Month in Taiwan yesterday, notebook computers and desktop computers built with AMD's Phenom processor and Intel Penryn processor openly battled for the consumer-market after each company launched their quad core processors. More...

February 27, 2007

The new South Pole Telescope has recently collected its first light in a long-term project to learn about the nature of dark energy. More...

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The Simputer is a self-contained, handheld computer, designed for use in environments where computing devices such as personal computers are deemed inappropriate. Due to the low cost, it was also deemed appropriate to bring computing power to the developing countries. The device was designed by the Simputer Trust. It includes text-to-speech software and runs the GNU/Linux operating system.

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Diagram of Vacuum-Tube Diode


Diagram of Vacuum-Tube Triode


In electronics, a vacuum tube or thermionic valve, is a device generally used to amplify, switch or otherwise modify, a signal by controlling the movement of electrons in an evacuated space.

For most purposes, the vacuum tube has been replaced by the much smaller, less power-hungry, and less expensive transistor, either as a discrete device or in an integrated circuit. However, tubes are still used in specialized applications, such as in high-end audio systems and high power RF transmitters. Cathode ray tubes are still used as a display device in television sets and computer monitors (although they face serious competition from LCD and plasma displays), and magnetrons are the source of microwaves in microwave ovens.


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