April 15th, 2015, 09:38 PM  #1 
Senior Member Joined: Apr 2015 From: Los Angeles Posts: 288 Thanks: 7  How do I apply math to electronics?
Is electronics just Ohm's Law: V = I * R.

April 15th, 2015, 09:42 PM  #2 
Math Team Joined: May 2013 From: The Astral plane Posts: 2,273 Thanks: 943 Math Focus: Wibbly wobbly timeywimey stuff.  What electronics "is" will depend on your level. There is a whole boatload of Physics in electronics. Ohm's Law, of course, but there are the "laws" for inductors, capacitors, transistors, diodes, etc. Perhaps we ought to start with this: What do you want to be able to do with electronics? Dan 
April 15th, 2015, 10:10 PM  #3 
Senior Member Joined: Apr 2015 From: Los Angeles Posts: 288 Thanks: 7 
I want to be able to understand and analyze electronics and computers.

April 15th, 2015, 10:51 PM  #4 
Math Team Joined: May 2013 From: The Astral plane Posts: 2,273 Thanks: 943 Math Focus: Wibbly wobbly timeywimey stuff. 
Okay. What level are you at? High School? College? If you are up to it I'd start looking into simple DC circuits. That'll get you up to circuits with resistance elements (ie resistors and Ohm's Law) in series and parallel configurations. Then start working with capacitors and inductors...RLC circuits that use AC current. That will get you into phasor diagrams for simple RLC circuits as well. (Along the line you are going to have to get into derivatives and integrals in Calculus.) That would be a start for a study program. You will likely be able to find all the needed information in a standard Physics text such as Serway (yes, I'm old!) and the slightly more modern Tipler. Dan 
April 16th, 2015, 12:27 AM  #5 
Senior Member Joined: Apr 2015 From: Los Angeles Posts: 288 Thanks: 7 
I have some college. How are phasor diagrams useful? How are derivatives and integrals useful? Is digital better than analog? 
April 16th, 2015, 01:15 AM  #6  
Senior Member Joined: Apr 2014 From: Glasgow Posts: 2,161 Thanks: 734 Math Focus: Physics, mathematical modelling, numerical and computational solutions  They are useful because the impedence (i.e. resistance) of some electrical components or their circuit combinations can be complex. Quote:
$\displaystyle I = \frac{dq}{dt}$ So integral calculus can definitely be applied to principles of electric circuits. See LC circuit  Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for a really interesting example of a circuit with more difficult mathematics than is typically found in most simple circuitry. Quote:
 
April 16th, 2015, 01:20 AM  #7  
Math Team Joined: May 2013 From: The Astral plane Posts: 2,273 Thanks: 943 Math Focus: Wibbly wobbly timeywimey stuff.  Quote:
When you start using some of the more advanced Mathematical "tools" in analyzing circuits you are going to run into the "Kirchhoff loop rules." (Basically charge and energy conservation.) These rules set up a differential equation that determines what the current is in the various pieces of the circuit. Digital is what you are going to eventually use but to learn the material analog is probably what you will start with. My final suggestion (because I don't do electronics) is to start off with the DC stuff and look for a college program and talk to an adviser. I'm giving you suggestions as to where to start, but only your adviser can help you map out a full program of study. Good luck with it and, of course, feel free to ask any more questions that you might have. Dan  
April 16th, 2015, 01:34 AM  #8 
Senior Member Joined: Apr 2015 From: Los Angeles Posts: 288 Thanks: 7 
Can matrices and linear algebra be applied to electronics? Are proofs and derivations worth learning, or should I just focus on how to use the formulas? Last edited by skipjack; April 16th, 2015 at 06:54 PM. 
April 16th, 2015, 02:02 AM  #9 
Global Moderator Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,973 Thanks: 2224 
"I want to be able to understand and analyze electronics and computers." First, spend a few years improving your knowledge of mathematics and physics. "Is electronics just Ohm's Law: V = I * R?" No, and electronics is not a branch of mathematics anyway. Think of it as a specialized branch of physics. "How do I apply math to electronics?" You use equations, such as Ohm's Law. You don't need to be a mathematical genius, but it's desirable to be competent at elementary algebra and able to cope with some simple trigonometry, use of complex numbers and calculus. 
April 16th, 2015, 03:06 AM  #10  
Senior Member Joined: Apr 2014 From: Glasgow Posts: 2,161 Thanks: 734 Math Focus: Physics, mathematical modelling, numerical and computational solutions  Sure. Quote:
 

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