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Chapter 13

Tackling First-Order Circuits

In This Chapter

Focusing on first-order differential equations with constant coefficients

Analyzing a series circuit that has a single resistor and capacitor

Analyzing a parallel circuit that has a single resistor and inductor

Building more exciting circuit functions requires capacitors or inductors. These storage devices — which I introduce in Chapter 12 — tell other parts of the circuit to slow down and take time when things are about to change. Nothing happens instantaneously with capacitors and inductors. You can think of these devices as little bureaucracies slowing things down in the life of circuit city.

This chapter focuses on circuits with a single storage element connected to a single resistor or a resistor network. In math mumbo jumbo, a circuit with a single storage device is described with first-order differential equations; hence the name first-order circuit. The analysis helps you understand timing circuits and time delays if that’s what’s needed to achieve specific tasks. (A circuit with two storage devices is a second-order circuit, which I cover in Chapter 14.)

If your head is cloudy on the calculus, check out a diff EQ ...

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