This chapter begins with the review of three fundamental laws of physics and electrical engineering, namely, (1) Ohm’s law, (2) Kirchhoff’s voltage law, and (3) Kirchhoff’s current law. These three laws are instrumental in performing basic circuit analysis. Laws serve a vital purpose in electrical engineering analysis and problem-solving. Most of these laws can be applied in direct current (DC) as well as alternating current (AC) domains. Most engineering problems entail determination of unknown values of key parameters, under certain known circumstances or conditions. This chapter shows how laws allow us the opportunity to formulate equations that can be solved for values of unknown parameters. Solving for one unknown variable requires a minimum of one equation. Solution for determination of the values of two unknown variables requires two equations, and so on. This chapter illustrates how laws afford us the opportunity to model an engineering problem or scenario in the form of set of equations that can be solved to adequately define and identify unknowns. In this chapter the reader learns how, similar to myriad other laws of physics, Kirchhoff’s voltage law and Kirchhoff’s current law are used to solve for important electrical parameters such as current, voltage, resistance, power, energy, reactance, impedance, and reactance.
Important electrical circuit principles and circuit simplification techniques, such as voltage division, current division, superposition theorem, Thevenin Equivalent, and Norton Equivalent, are discussed in this chapter in addition to the introduction to basic laws. The application of the laws is illustrated through sample problems in this chapter. The reader gains introduction to principles and methods that are at electrical engineer’s disposal to solve or analyze complex circuits such as the conversion of Y (or Star) load (or resistor) configuration to Delta “Δ” load configuration or vice and versa and two port networks.
In this chapter, the reader is also introduced to two basic electronic devices, namely, a diode and a transistor, their basic characteristics, and some of their applications. The introduction to basic electronic devices is concluded with a pictorial “tour” of a typical electronic printed circuit board.