“How can we get a transistor to pass current?”
Transistors are some of the most commonly used electronic devices in the world because of their ability to act like an electrically controlled switch. However, what exactly is it called when they act like an open circuit? Well, after many years of studying this, engineers and scientists have termed such an effect Transistor Saturation. Transistor Saturation occurs when the voltage difference between the base and emitter is around 0.7 volts and the collector and emitter is 0.1 volts.
“How can we amplify the current from one transistor using another?”
Transistors are very useful for amplifying current. However, sometimes the current gain from a single module is not enough. So how can we use our engineering mindset to solve this problem? Well, what if we were to simply hook two transistors up to each other? This way, we current amplification will be squared. This setup is known as a Darlington Pair and is used in the control of motor relays.
Bipolar Junction Transistor
“What is one of the more typical types of transistors?”
Transistors come in all different types of shapes and sizes. However, what is one of the most typical types? Well, let’s use our engineering mindsets to find out. First, the model is made up of two doped semiconductors attached end to end with a common joint. One one side is the collector, the other the base, and the end the emitter. The current that goes into the base will allow the current from the collector to the emitter to pass through. This setup is known as a Bipolar Junction Transistor and can be found everywhere from semiconductor processing to microcontrollers.
“How can we discern real data from noise?”
When working with signal processing, we often want to try to discern real data from random noise. However, doing so requires complex thinking. So how can we use our engineering mindset to solve this? Well, we can simply use an organization of mathematical theorems known as detection theory to solve these problems.
“How can we analyze time-dependent data signals?”
Signals are one of the fundamental components of modern day electronics, whether it be with the radio we hear in our cars, the broadband that powers our internet, or the electricity that is driven to our homes. However, this data can be bundled with a lot of noise and complications, making analysis very difficult. So how can we use our engineering mindset to circumvent this problem? Well, what if we were to simply apply numerical methods to filter, modify, and extract this data? This is the fundamental idea behind Signal Processing and is one of the foundations of modern control engineering.
“How will people trade energy in the future?”
With the developing distributed energy world, energy transmission will now take place bidirectionally. One consequence of this is that people will be able to buy and sell energy from one another instead of the utility in a form known as transactive energy. Like online retail for consumer products, transactive energy will enable homeowners to barter and profit from self-generated renewable energy.
“Is there a diode that can allow for current to flow in both directions?”
When you hear the word diode, you probably think of circuit elements that limit the current to only one direction. However, is it possible to have bidirectional current flow with a diode? Well, it turns out that there is something called a Zener diode which allows for exactly this! When Zener Diodes reach a certain critical value in the negative direction known as the Zener voltage, then a break will occur which will allow for current to pass through! As seen in the graph, the Zener voltage is much higher in magnitude than its positive equivalent. Zener diodes are commonly used in microelectronic system to regulate voltage.