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The Theory Behind Electronics - A Beginners Guide

Start your Journey in Electronics with a Solid Background !
4.2 (38 ratings)
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1,534 students enrolled
Created by Idan Gabrieli
Last updated 1/2017
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  • 4 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 7 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
Understand the R,L, C building blocks of analog electronics
Calculate Voltage, Current and Power and understand the relation between them
Understand the properties of DC and AC power supply
Understand the applications of Resistors, Capacitors, Inductors, Diodes and Transistors
Analyze basic electronic circuit
Select the right components in future project
Build simple projects in a Circuit Simulator
Document circuits is a software tool
Develop ideas and summarize knowledge using mind mapping software
View Curriculum
  • Setup/Install the recommended software tools during the course introduction
  • Start thinking like innovators
  • Prepare a nice coffee !

Electricity is all around us, it is some hidden energy force driving many applications we all use in our daily life. The theory behind electricity is based on some amazing phenomenon in nature and some several materials properties that were discovered by a great scientists. Electronics is a theory developed around the useful applications of electricity.  So first thing that we can say about electricity is that it is really interesting subject!

Today, electronics is becoming much more friendly hobby for many people worldwide that would like to easily combine hardware and software and do things by themselves, the price of electric components is keep dropping, easy to use development platforms have been created (e.g. Arduino) and it is easy more than ever to collaborate and learn the subject in a few mouse clicks.

Internet of Things is also emerging driving force for innovators looking to build things using electronics and harness the power horse of the web technologies to create new products, services or just cool projects!

This course is a starting point, to learn the basic building blocks of electronics with step by step education program, easy to follow chapters, simple circuits’ demonstrations, quizzes to evaluate your understanding and review the key things to remember using mind mapping templates.

Join me with one of the biggest Makers Movement!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is meant for newbies in electricity and electronics, all kind of Do-It-Yourself Makers, Arduino developers looking for more solid background, Internet of Things entrepreneurs or students looking for a quick refresher on basic electronics theory.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 63 Lectures Collapse All 63 Lectures 03:45:57
2 Lectures 05:37

Starting with a short course introduction on Why ? What ? How ? Who ?....

Preview 03:50

We will quickly review the needed software tools (desktop and web-based) that will be used during this course. All of them are optional and you can run the all course without them BUT I strongly recommend to start using them... it is FUN !

Software Setup
Current, Voltage and Power - Starting with the basics !
6 Lectures 27:31

Starting our journey with a basic definition of Current, Voltage and Power.


Atoms (OMG!) are the building blocks of materials around use, Electric Charge is the amazing property of electrons and protons inside each atoms. Did you know that electric charge is holding the all universe from falling parts...... I am not kidding.... 

OK, but what is the relation to Current ? 

Atoms and Electric Charge (OMG?!)

Current is the organized flow of free electrons in a closed loop, measured in Amperes. Current can be translated to other forms of energy like heat or light, making electric circuits extremely useful for end-less applications. 

Electric Current

Voltage is the potential electric motive force pushing the electrons in one direction, measured in volts.

As said by Bob Marley, "No Women No Cry...." --> in our case No Voltage No Current....


Power is the rate of energy being consumed in specific component and it is based on the amount of voltage drop and current flowing in that component. Power is measured using watts. To measure power consumption we need to add the time scale so in that case, power consumption is measured using Watts-Hours. In addition, to measure the energy capacity of some limited energy source like a battery we use Amperes-Hours.


Mind Mapping summary of this section. Please download also the mind mapping template file. 

5min MM Summary

Test your Knowledge : Current, Voltage and Power
11 questions
AC/DC - Two best friends ?
8 Lectures 23:20

To create voltage potential we need a power source, such a power source can be based on direct current or alternate current. But really, what's the different between them ? why do we need this AC power source if most of the things around us are working on DC ?


Direct Current is current that travels in one direction only, it is unidirectional with constant polarity. DC is very common method to operate low power digital circuit and devices so we will find it in almost electric circuit. 

Direct Current (DC)

Alternating Current is a type of power source that causes current to periodically change direction. AC today is the most common method to deliver electricity for long distance. The frequency of changing direction is measured in Hertz. 

Alternate Current (AC)

AC today is the most common method to deliver electricity for long distances. But Why ? 

The War of Currents

AC waveform is defined by frequency, amplitude and phase

AC Waveforms

It is TIME to understand the AC socket in our house, what is Hot, Neutral and the Ground wires ? 

AC Socket - Hot, Neutral, and Ground

To easily handle voltage, current and power in AC we used RMS (Root Mean Square ) values. 

Measuring Power and Voltage in AC

Mind Mapping summary of this section. Please download also the mind mapping template file. 

5min MM Summary

Test your Knowledge - AC/DC
8 questions
(Join the) Resistance
8 Lectures 27:57

Resistance, Capacitance, Inductance are the building blocks of almost any electric component, device or a circuit. We will find them everywhere...


Resistance is the property of a material, measured in ohms. What happens when some material resist to current flow ?    "I think it is getting HOT in here..."

Preview 03:59

Resistors devices are used to limit the current flow and set voltage level across the circuits. 

So simple and so useful...


Color codes are used to identify some REAL resistor parameters. 

Color Codes

Variable resistors are components with adjustable resistance capability. 

Variable Resistors

Let's start to use the Circuit Simulator ! 

Circuit Simulation - Fixed and Variable Resistors

How do we measure Current and Voltage strength in some location in our circuit ? 

Circuit Simulation - Measuring Current and Voltage

Mind Mapping summary of this section. Please download also the mind mapping template file. 

4min MM Summary

Test your Knowledge - Resistance
4 questions
Capacitance - Storing electrical energy for a while….
9 Lectures 36:51

Resistance, Capacitance, Inductance are the building blocks of almost any electric component, device or a circuit. We will find them everywhere...


Capacitance is a property of a body for storing energy in electric field, measured in farad. 

OK great, but for what ? 

What is Capacitance ?

Capacitors devices are used to store and release electric energy. 


Capacitors are charged and discharged in an exponential pattern(don't run away please...).So how can we calculate the specific TIME they will be charged/discharged ? what are the applications of capacitors ?

Charge and Discharge

Time constant is the easiest parameter to handle capacitors charging and discharging time.

RC - Time Constant

There are all sorts of capacitor types out there, each with certain features and drawbacks which make it better for some applications than others.

Types of Capacitors

Capacitors are widely used as parts of electrical circuits:

  • Blocking direct current while allowing alternating current to pass
  •  Smooth current fluctuations for signal or control circuits
  • Filter specific frequencies (e.g. radio)
  • Generate signal waves used for timing

    And more….so commonly used that in almost every circuit we will find them pushing their big nose...
    Cap: "Hi what's is the circuit is all about ?"
    Circuit:"I don't know, some resistors decided to join the party, are you coming too ?"
    Cap: "I am already inside looking for place to discharge my energy..."
    Circuit:"OMG!, I am calling the caps..." 

Let's see the MAGIC of charge of discharge. 

Circuit Simulation - Store and Release Energy with Capacitors

Mind Mapping summary of this section. Please download also the mind mapping template file. 

4min MM Summary

Test your Knowledge - Capacitance
6 questions
Inductance - Let the force be with you
12 Lectures 37:48

Resistance, Capacitance, Inductance are the building blocks of almost any electric component, device or a circuit. We will find them everywhere...


Electromagnetism = Electro + Magnetism

Magnets?!? , what are you talking about ?

Not easy but really interesting staff !


Preview 03:40

Based on Electromagnetism, we can create magnetic field using current ? did you ever created Electromagnet as a kid ? 

Steady Current and Coiled Wire

What will happen when a current connected to a circuit with a wire coil, will vary on the time scale, like using AC signal as input ?

Time Varying Current

Self-inductance is how inductors store energy in magnetic field. 


Inductance is a property of an electrical conductor by which a change in current flowing through it induces an electromotive force. Inductance is measured in Henry.

Inductance and Inductors

In the preceding sections, we learned how to calculate the RC time constant for a resistor-capacitor circuit. A similar calculation can be done for inductors, except that instead of calling it the RC time constant, we call it the RL time constant. But the Idea is almost the same. 

RL - Time Constant

Time-varying magnetic field (flux) induces an electromotive force in nearby conductors. The induced force is called Electromotive Force (EMF). A device specifically designed to produce the effect of mutual inductance between two or more coils is called a transformer. All our AC to DC converters are working based on this effect. 


Transformers, Electric Motor and AC Generator are based on the principle of inductance.


Transformers, Electric Motor and AC Generator are based on the principle of inductance.

AC Generator and Electric Motor

Let's see some simple example of Self-Inductance.

p.s. the circuit simulator is not smart enough to present mutual inductance....

Circuit Simulation - Self-Inductance with Inductors

Mind Mapping summary of this section. Please download also the mind mapping template file. 

6min MM Summary

Test your Knowledge - Inductance
11 questions
Semi-Conductors - What’s the big deal ?
8 Lectures 31:17

Semi-conductors are the most important step in moving to digital electronics, as they are the building blocks for other more complicated components. 


Materials are classified by their ability to conduct electricity. Substances that easily pass an electric current, are referred to as conductors. Materials that have a difficult time passing an electric current are called insulators. A third category of material whose conductivity lies between those of conductors
and insulators. This third category of material is referred to as a semiconductor

What is Semi-Conductor ?

Diode is simple application of Semi-Conductors while fusing together N-type and P-type semiconductor materials. Diode are basically a one way gate for current.


A transistor is like a diode with a additional third layer of either p-type or n-type semiconductors on one end. Two common types of transistors – PNP and NPN. Transistors are used to amplify electrical power or switch electronic signals.


First application of transistor is just as simple controlled SWITCH. 

Circuit Simulation - Transistor as Digital Switch

Next applications is to create a digital logic gate ! all the chips the you see everywhere are based on such applications, just they are very, very, very small created during the chip production process. 

Circuit Simulation - Transistor as Digital Logic

Give me some more power please...  that's another useful application of transistor, to amplify signals. 

Circuit Simulation - Transistor as Current Amplifier

Mind Mapping summary of this section. Please download also the mind mapping template file. 

5min MM Summary

Test your Knowledge : Semi-Conductors
5 questions
Basic Laws of Electric Circuits - It is NOT a rocket science…
7 Lectures 27:43

Ohm’s Law and Kirchhoff's Laws are the basic laws of electric circuits helping to perform simple to complex circuit analysis.

Preview 01:10

We first defined some basic circuit topology – branch, node and loop and how to combine components in series and in parallel.

Circuit Topology

R, L, C components are commonly places in series and in parallel. Why ? many reasons and one of them is to create variety of values that we can't find off-the-shelf in the store. 

R,L,C in Series and Parallel

Ohm’s Law is used to define the relation between  Voltage, Current and Resistance. The electrical current (I) flowing through a fixed linear resistance is directly proportional to the Voltage applied across it (V).

Ohm’s Law - V, I, R

KCL also called the junction rule saying that at any node (junction) in an electrical circuit, the sum of currents flowing into that node is equal to the sum of currents flowing out of that node.

Kirchhoff’s Laws - Junction (KCL)

KVL also called the closed loop rule saying that the algebraic sum of the voltages around any loop of a circuit is zero meaning the amount generated equal to the amount used.

Kirchhoff’s Laws - Closed Loop (KVL)

Mind Mapping summary of this section. Please download also the mind mapping template file. 

5min MM Summary

Test your Knowledge : Basic Electric Circuits Laws
10 questions
Course Summary
3 Lectures 07:55

All most finished !

Let's review the flow of topics and some key things to remember

What did we covered ?

Ok, what NEXT ? 

What Next ? Digi...

Bonus Lecture: Crazy about Arduino Training Program
About the Instructor
4.1 Average rating
146 Reviews
7,660 Students
6 Courses
Engineer and Entrepreneur (BS.c, MBA)

Entrepreneur and highly skilled professional engineer, Idan Gabrieli is a passionate creative person. Grow, lives and works in the startup nation, Israel, Idan gain valuable experience in the telecom and software market helping to promote constant technology innovation and tailor complex solutions for large scale customers in leading worldwide hi-tech companies.

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