PHY240: Practical Electronics

New for Fall 2017: An electronics course for anyone familiar with the basics of circuits!

Previously the department offered a 2-semester sequence, PHY242 and PHY243, where each class was a 2-credit (lab only) class.  PHY240 will be a 4-credit lecture+lab course, with both analog and digital electronics presented in one semester.  This course is open to anyone who has completed the second semester of either the calculus- or algebra-based physics sequence.  Students with a background in physics and/or electronics, but who have not take PHY203 or PHY103, should talk to me to see if this class is for them!


Electronic devices are all around us, but what is inside and how do they work? This course will build on a basic physics understanding of charge, current, and voltage; covering DC components, frequency response, semiconductors, op-amps, digital signals, and microprocessors. Students will design, build, and measure circuits, utilizing computer simulation and calculations to predict circuit behaviors. The class culminates in designing and building an Arduino-based project to solve a real-world problem.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Design and build circuits to meet specifications, utilizing theory, simulations, and iterative design.
  • Interrogate and troubleshoot circuits using tools such as multimeters, function generators, and oscilloscopes.
  • Communicate information about circuits using videos, circuit diagrams, and graphical representations of data
  • Design and construct a functional device, based on the Arduino microprocessor, to solve a real world problem or complete a useful task