PHY 207L: Basic Electronics Lab (V)

3 credits | Prerequisites: PHY 102L

Course rationale

This is the first of two lab courses on electronics for students majoring in physics. It focuses on the fundamentals of analog electronics. Students will carry out experiments with dc circuits, diodes, transistors, operational amplifiers, positive feedback, and voltage regulators. Electronics is an integral part of physics education because it is one of the most striking success stories of the application of modern physics and because it is an integral part of any experimental or observational physics.

Course content

A1. DC circuits: verify that the resistor in a dc circuit obeys Ohm’s law. A2. Capacitors: Verifying the behavior of an RC circuit in the time domain. A3. Diode circuits: construct a parallel resonance circuit and calculate its resonant frequency. A4. Transistors I: spot-check a bad transistor. A5. Transistors II: construct a dynamic VI curve tracer and explain how it works. A6. Transistors III: predict the differential and common-mode gains of a differential amplifier. A7. FETs I: measure IDSS and Vp for samples of 2N5485. A8. Op amps I: construct an open-loop op-amp test circuit and check the consistency of its specified gain. A9. Op amps II: understand the imperfections of op-amps by measuring their slew rate and other parameters. A10. Positive feedback: verify the usefulness of positive feedback in op-amp circuits. A11. FETs II: construct a sample-and-hold circuit using opamp and FET and verify its application. A12. Voltage regulators use a 723 Regulator in order to verify the basic properties of voltage regulators.

Course objectives

  1. Construct electrical circuits with resistors, capacitors and diodes.
  2. Check good and bad transistors and use them in circuits with useful applications.
  3. Measure various properties of field-effect transistors.
  4. Use op-amps and FETs together to construct circuits and verify their behavior.
  5. Verify the use of positive feedback and voltage regulators


  1. Paul Horowitz & Winfield Hill, The Art of Electronics Lab Manual.
  2. Paul Horowitz & Winfield Hill, The Art of Electronics, 3rd edition, Cambridge University Press.