physics.wustl.edu

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Definitions (68)

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Glossary of Electronic Terms


Introduction
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glossary of electronic terms


Introduction
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ALTERNATING CURRENT


A current whose polarity alternates from positive to negative over time. The rate of such "alternations" is measured in cycles per second - more commonly known as Hertz (Hz)
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Amp / Ampere


The basic unit of current flow
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Ampere Hour (Amp hour


a measurement of the capacity of a storage medium (a single cell or a battery). A cell which can supply 1 Amp for 1 hour before it is discharged to a specified minimum level is said to have a capacity of 1 Amp hour
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Amplification


a method for increasing the amplitude (or loudness) of electrical signals
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Amplifier


An electronic device which generates a high power signal based on the information supplied by a lower powered signal. A perfect amplifier would add or subtract nothing from the original except additional power - these have not been invented yet
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amplitude


the loudness of sound waves and electrical signals. Amplitude is measured in decibels (dB) or volts
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Analogue to Digital Converter


A device that converts the infinite range of an analogue signal into discrete "steps". Normally, a good audio ADC will use sufficient "steps" to resolve the smallest musical detail. For CD, this is a 16 bit converter, having 65,536 discrete levels covering the most negative signal level to the most positive
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attenuation


the decrease of a signal's amplitude level over any distance during transmission or through purpose designed attenuators. Attenuation measures signal loss in decibels (dB)
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