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Monday, January 02, 2006

EE80T: Modern Electronic Technology and How it works

Glancing the title you are thinking of some serious electronics matter? Forget it. Today I was searching google for some study materials related to my course and in one university site I've got this.

First the name of the course is given I mentioned in the title. This gives that page the usual horrible look! But then it reads "We wanted to call this "The Secret Life of the Electron: The Story of e", but figured that it wouldn't look so good on your transcript...". I scrolled down.

Come learn about:
  • How to direct electronic warfare techniques toward peaceful uses: to disable your neighbors annoying radio.
  • Why Thomas Edison was electrocuting dogs in New York.
  • What the second most purchased appliance was in 1900 and why your grandparents would never admit they had one.
  • The history, personalities and development of modern electronic technology.

Then there are something under the subtitle Find out. Nothing funny here except it describes Telegraph as the internet of the Victorian Age. Next paragraph is full of treasures.

See Demonstrated live:
  • The 300,000 volt generator in action- a "Hair Raising" experience.
  • The mysteries of Electricity and Magnetism.
  • Static electric motors made from common office supplies.
  • A radio you can build without batteries, transistor or tubes.
  • Radio Transmission by Sparks.
  • Magnetic Guns- A path to low earth orbit?
  • A Tesla Coil in action, Source of free energy, or potential beam weapon?
  • The Jacobs ladder, every mad scientist has one.
  • A human powered flashlight and how it was designed.
  • Electronic warfare techniques you can use them for peace at home.
  • A post-mortum on a Furby (sacrificed for science) and much more!
I didn't know what the Furby is. After that I searched Wikipedia -- "A Furby is an electronic soft-toy." Now comes the course description. In the sub heading itself it's written the boring version. And it is. So what is the most interesting part? It's coming now.

Course outline: What we'll be learning about and for about how long:


Electricity and Magnetism (1.5 week)

What were those Greeks doing with the stuff? The compass: invented by the Chinese or the Italians, should we care? Did Ben Franklin really do something as crazy as to fly a kite in thunderstorm? Who was Michael Farady and what do we owe him?


Early communications and sound, Telegraph, Telephone, Phonograph (1 week)


Telegraph - the Victorian Internet, why was this an even bigger deal than our own recent internet revolution? How the biggest telecommunications company missed out on the telephone revolution.


Electric Light and Power (1 week)

How does our electrical system work, how did get this way, and why Thomas Edison was electrocuting dogs. Investigate the transformations in society brought about by electrification and the impact, particularly, on the lives of women.


Wireless and Electronic Radio (1 week)

Heavy duty magic when you think about it. Learn to build one from a rusty razor blade, tinfoil and a bit of wire.


RADAR and Electronic Warfare (1 week)

The atom bomb might have ended WWII but RADAR was arguably the invention that won it! Find out what else its good for and how a melted chocolate bar brought us the microwave oven. More seriously we will inquire into the history and realtionship between the military and technology.


Television (1 week)

How it drove Professor Armstrong to jump out a window and why its inventor didn't watch it.


Transistors, Semiconductors, Integrated Circuits (1 week)

The invention that enabled the microelectronics revolution, how it was invented, how they are made, and how it led to the birth of the innovation capital of the world-Silicon Valley. Learn to make semiconductors in your home oven.


Digital electronics, Computers and Robotics (1 week)

The Digital Revolution, Machines that Think?!?, When will I have a Robot that will cook and clean?


Audio electronics, lasers, fiber optic communications, and (1 week)
topics of special interest to the class

Cool stuff, and where things are going. The future that never happened.


And finally the creator has given this laugh riot at peace.

Textbooks and Other Course Materials:

"Engineering Uncovered" 2nd edition by Dick White and Roger Doering

This has great descriptions of how elementary electronics works, the descriptions are based on analogies to water flow through pipes, valves etc.. Don't worry, we'll be leaving out most of the boring parts.


Signature : Ken Pedrotti


This course details is really something in my boring study table. It makes my day lighter. Tons of thanks to Mr. Ken Pedrotti.

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