Explore a comprehensive glossary of electrical and electronics engineering terms, including definitions and explanations for key concepts in the field. Enhance your understanding of electrical engineering terminology.
Glossary of Electrical and Electronics Engineering from A-Z
AC | Alternating current, a type of electrical current that periodically reverses direction.
Adapter | A device that allows one electrical device to be used with another.
Amplifier | A device that increases the strength of a signal.
Analog | A type of signal that varies continuously in time.
Antenna | A device that transmits or receives electromagnetic radiation.
Active Rectification | Rectifying AC power using external control.
Actuator | Device that converts electrical energy into mechanical motion.
Adaptive Control | Control system that can adjust itself to changes in the environment.
Additive White Gaussian Noise | Noise model used to simulate random noise in electrical systems.
Adjustable-Speed Drive | Controls the speed of a motor.
Advanced Z-Transform | Mathematical tool used to analyze discrete-time systems with delays.
Alternator | Machine that converts mechanical energy into AC electrical energy.
Ampere | SI unit of electric current.
Anti-Aliasing Filter | Filter that removes high-frequency noise from a signal before it is digitized.
Audio Amplifier | Amplifier that is used to increase the amplitude of an audio signal.
Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) | Device that maintains a constant voltage level at its output.
Back EMF | Voltage generated in a motor or generator when it is rotating.
Bandgap Reference | Circuit that generates a stable voltage reference over a wide range of temperatures and voltages.
Bandwidth | Range of frequencies that a device can transmit or receive.
Bias Voltage | Constant voltage that is applied to a circuit to control its operation.
Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT) | Type of transistor that uses both electrons and holes to conduct current.
Bootstrapping | Technique used to improve the performance of a circuit by using a feedback loop to compensate for its non-ideal characteristics.
Bridge Rectifier | Circuit that uses four diodes to convert AC to DC.
Brushless DC Motor | This Type of DC motor does not use brushes to communicate the current.
Buffer | Electronic circuit that isolates one circuit from another while providing a high input impedance and a low output impedance.
Busbar | Electrical conductor for distributing power in electrical systems efficiently.
Circuit | A closed path through which electricity can flow.
Conductor | A material that allows electricity to flow through it easily.
Converter | A device that changes one form of energy into another, such as an AC/DC converter or a DC/DC converter.
Current | The flow of electrons through a conductor.
Capacitance | Ability of a capacitor to store electrical energy.
Capacitor | Electrical component that stores electrical energy.
Charge Pump | Circuit that generates a voltage that is higher or lower than the input voltage.
Circuit Breaker | Device that protects an electrical circuit from overcurrent.
Coaxial Cable | Type of cable that consists of two concentric conductors, separated by an insulator.
Collector | Terminal of a BJT that collects the majority of charge carriers.
Common-Mode Voltage | Average voltage between the two input terminals of a differential amplifier.
Commutator | Device that switches the current in a DC motor from one coil to another.
Comparator | Electronic circuit that compares two voltages and outputs a high or low signal depending on which voltage is higher.
Compensator | Circuit that is used to improve the performance of a control system by reducing the effects of noise and disturbances.
Conduction | Movement of electric charge through a conductor.
Contactor | Electrically controlled switch that is used to switch high-current loads.
Control System | System that automatically controls a process or device.
Cross-Conduction | Condition that occurs in a power converter when both switches are turned on at the same time.
Current Transformer | Transformer that is used to measure current.
Cutoff Frequency | Frequency at which the output of a filter is reduced to 70.7% of its original value.
Cycle | One complete period of an AC waveform.
DC | Direct current, a type of electrical current that flows in one direction only.
Diode | A two-terminal semiconductor device that allows current to flow in one direction only.
D Flip-Flop | This Type of flip-flop stores one bit of data.
DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) | Device that converts a digital signal into an analog signal.
DC Motor | Motor that runs on direct current.
Dead Time | Time interval between the turning off of one switch and the turning on of the other switch in a power converter.
Demodulator | Circuit that extracts the original signal from a modulated signal.
Distortion | Unwanted changes that occur to a signal when it passes through a circuit or system.
Duty Cycle | Percentage of time that a switch is turned on in a pulse-width modulated (PWM) signal.
Dynamic Range | Difference between the largest and smallest signals that a device can handle without distortion.
Electric | Relating to electricity or magnetism.
Electron | A negatively charged subatomic particle.
Energy | The ability to do work.
Envelope Detector | Circuit that demodulates an AM signal to recover the original audio signal.
Equalizer | Circuit that adjusts the frequency response of a signal to improve its quality.
Excitation | Input signal to a system.
Feedback | The process of returning a portion of the output of a system to its input in order to control the system’s behavior.
Filter | A circuit that selects certain frequencies while rejecting others.
Frequency | The number of cycles of a wave that occur per second.
Firmware | Software that is stored in ROM or flash memory and is not easily changed.
Flip-Flop | Bistable circuit that can be in one of two states: high or low.
Forward Voltage Drop | Voltage drop across a diode when it is conducting current.
Freewheel Diode | Diode that is used to prevent current from flowing back into a voltage source when a switch is turned off.
Full-Wave Bridge Rectifier | Circuit that uses four diodes to convert AC to DC with both halves of the AC waveform.
Function Generator | Device that generates a variety of waveforms, such as sine waves, square waves, and triangle waves.
Gain | Ratio of the output signal to the input signal of a circuit or system.
Gate | Terminal of a transistor that controls the flow of current through the transistor.
Generator | Machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Ground | Reference point for electrical circuits.
Harmonic | Multiple of the fundamental frequency of a signal.
Heatsink | Device that is used to dissipate heat from a component.
Henry | SI unit of inductance.
High-Pass Filter | Filter that passes high frequencies while blocking low frequencies.
Hold Time | Amount of time that a signal must be held at a constant value in order for a flip-flop to trigger.
Hysteresis | Tendency of a system to remain in its current state even after the input signal has changed.
Impedance | Total opposition to the flow of current through an AC circuit.
Inductor | A component that stores magnetic energy.
Input | The signal that is applied to the input of a system.
Inverter | A circuit that converts DC to AC.
Inductance | Property of a circuit that opposes changes in current.
Input Impedance | Impedance seen at the input of a circuit.
Insulator | Material that does not allow electricity to flow through it easily.
Integrated Circuit (IC) | Single chip that contains many interconnected electronic components.
Inverting Amplifier | Amplifier that inverts the polarity of the input signal.
joule | SI unit of energy.
Kirchhoff’s Current Law (KCL) | Law that states that the sum of the currents entering a junction is equal to the sum of the currents leaving the junction.
Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law (KVL) | Law that states that the sum of the voltages around a closed loop is equal to zero.
LED | Light-emitting diode, a semiconductor device that emits light when current flows through it.
Load | The device that is connected to the output of a circuit.
LED (Light-Emitting Diode) | Semiconductor device that emits light when current flows through it.
Linear Circuit | Circuit in which the output signal is proportional to the input signal.
Load | Device that is connected to the output of a circuit.
Logic Gate | Circuit that performs a logical operation on one or more input signals.
Low-Pass Filter | Filter that passes low frequencies while blocking high frequencies.
Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) | Technique used to maximize the power output of a solar panel or other power source.
Memristor | Passive electronic component that can store and remember the amount of current that has flowed through it.
Microcontroller | Small, integrated computer that is used to control embedded systems.
MOSFET (Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor) | This Type of transistor is used in a variety of applications, including power switching and logic circuits.
Motor | Machine that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.
Multimeter | Device that is used to measure voltage, current, and resistance.
Negative Feedback | Feedback that reduces the gain of a system.
Noise | Unwanted signals that are present in a signal.
Non-Inverting Amplifier | Amplifier that does not invert the polarity of the input signal.
Ohms Law | Law that states that the voltage across a resistor is proportional to the current through it.
Oscillator | Circuit that generates a periodic signal.
output impedance | Impedance seen at the output of a circuit.
Output | The signal that is produced by a system.
Peak-To-Peak Voltage | Difference between the positive and negative peaks of an AC waveform.
Phase | Relative timing of two signals.
Photodiode | Semiconductor device that generates a current when it is exposed to light.
Phototransistor | Transistor that is sensitive to light.
PN Junction | Junction between two regions of a semiconductor with different doping levels.
Potentiometer | Variable resistor.
Power | Rate at which energy is transferred.
Power Factor | Ratio of the real power to the apparent power in an AC circuit.
Power Supply | Device that converts AC to DC or DC to DC.
Quadrature Encoder | This Type of encoder outputs two sinusoidal signals that are 90 degrees out of phase.
Rectifier | Circuit that converts AC to DC.
Relay | Electrically controlled switch.
Resistance | Opposition to the flow of current through a conductor.
Resistor | Component that has a fixed resistance.
Resonance | Condition that occurs when the inductive and capacitive reactances of a circuit are equal and opposite.
RMS Voltage | Root mean square voltage of an AC waveform.
Signal | A variation in a physical quantity that is used to convey information.
Saturation | Condition that occurs when a transistor is conducting at its maximum or minimum level.
SCR (Silicon Controlled Rectifier) | Type of thyristor that can be turned on and off by applying a small voltage to the gate.
Semiconductor | Material that has electrical conductivity between that of a conductor and an insulator.
Sensor | Device that detects a physical quantity, such as temperature, pressure, or light, and converts it into an electrical signal.
Series Circuit | Circuit in which the components are connected in one continuous loop.
Shunt Circuit | Circuit in which the components are connected in parallel.
Solenoid | A Type of actuator that uses a magnetic field to create a linear force.
Switch | Device that can open and close an electrical circuit.
Synchronizer | Device that synchronizes the timing of two or more signals.
Transformer | Device that transfers electrical energy from one circuit to another without direct electrical connection.
Transistor | Three-terminal semiconductor device that can be used to amplify or switch electronic signals.
TRIAC | A Type of thyristor that can control the flow of current in both directions.
Varicap | Diode that has a variable capacitance.
Voltage | electrical potential difference between two points.
Watt | SI unit of power.
Waveform | Graphical representation of a signal.
Zener Diode | This Type of diode has a constant reverse voltage breakdown.