Inductors and Capacitors

In ECE 81, Introduction to Electrical Engineering, we have been dealing with circuits with inductors and capacitors. We started with RC (resistor-capacitor) and RL (resistor-inductor) circuits which are first-order circuits. This means that their voltages and current scan be described by first-order differential equations. These problems mostly dealt with switches that would be opened and closed over time. We learned how to solve these circuits before and after the switch changes. More recently, we have dealt with RLC circuits which are a combination of all three elements. Both of these topics we have also been covering in Physics 21, Electricity and Magnetism. In Physics, however, these topics are looked at in a different way. My understanding of these circuits has greatly improved from working with them in two different classes with different professors. These topics have led to doing problems with voltage and current sources who vary sinusoidally. In the beginning of the year, the voltages and currents would not vary overtime for the circuits we were looking at, but now it has gotten more challenging. To analyze these circuits we have been using phasors which are complex numbers which carry the amplitude and phase angle information of a sinusoidal function. Additionally we have been looking at different types of power. These include instantaneous power, average power, and reactive power. These are all of the the topics and tools that we need to know for our exam next week. This is the second and final midterm, and we will have a final at the end of the semester.

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