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# Electronic Terms Study Guide

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Updated on Jul 15, 2011

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Electronic Terms Practice Exercises

Electronics seem to be everywhere you look. It may seem like your family spends as much on double-A batteries as it does on groceries. Everything either needs batteries or an electrical outlet these days. Even books are being put on handheld machines that require button batteries to run.

Here are some vocabulary terms used with various electronics. They may seem very familiar to many of you—probably those who usually demand the most batteries. To others, these will all be new, so get ready to learn (which doesn't take any batteries or electricity)!

### DEFINITIONS

• ampere   the basic unit of current flow
• amplitude   the loudness of sound waves and electrical signals, measured in either decibels or volts
• attenuation   the decrease of a signal's amplitude over any distance during transmission, measured in decibels
• capacitor   a pair of parallel plates that are separated by an insulator; stores an electrical charge, does not pass direct current, and acts as an insulator
• decibel   the smallest variation of volume detectable by ear; measured on a logarithmic scale
• distortion   any modification of the phase relationship between two or more signals that causes the observed waveform to differ from the original
• filtering   a process used to remove or accentuate specific frequency ranges of a signal
• frequency   the rate at which an alternating current changes in a cyclic manner from positive to negative and back again in a cycle, measured in hertz
• insulator   a material that prevents the passage of electricity, heat, or sound
• laser   acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, made with semiconductors
• oscilloscope   an electronic measurement tool that makes it possible to see a waveform
• quasi   to some degree or manner, similar but not exact
• quiescent   being still or at rest; inactive, as in a current that is not amplifying a signal but is still supplied with power
• resistor   an electrical device that impedes current flow regardless of frequency; measures in ohms
• resonance   the natural frequency at which a physical body will oscillate
• velocity   speed of motion, rapidity
• volt   the basic unit of electromotive force
• watt   the basic unit of power
• wavelength   the length of one cycle of an AC signal
• xenon   a gas commonly used in flash tubes and high-density automotive headlamps

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Electronic Terms Practice Exercises

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