University of California at Santa Cruz
Baskin School of Engineering
Electrical Engineering Department

EE80T: Modern Electronic Technology and How it Works
Winter 2010


Administrivia     Course Schedule/Homework    Lecture Presentations    Links


News and Announcements

Low Power Oscillator Design-MEAD Course Notes

Important News and Announcements for the class will be posted here.

Lecture will happen today but the schedule will be rearranged to move some important topics to days when everyone can attend.

To turn in your paper electronically just send an email to me with the subject heading of exactly, but without the quotes, "EE80T Paper Submission" and attach your paper. I will have an email filter set up to divert all of your papers to the appropriate spot. Don't change or alter the subject line or you paper may get lost. Remember to also turn in a hard copy of your paper in class on Tuesday March 2.

This web site serves as the syllabus for this class. Please read the entire site, particularly the information on how the class works on the "Administrivia" page above. The homework and reading assignments are located on the "Course Schedule/Homework" page also above. Last years versions of the lecture presentations are available above as well, if off campus you will need the login and password that will be given out in the first lecture to access these and other course resources.

Please carefully note the midterm, final and term paper due dates and times. The final is on Thursday, March 18 from 7:30-10:30 pm. If you cannot make these dates please do not take this class. Alternate tests or times will only be scheduled due to dire circumstances such as those outlined in campus academic policy. In particular no allowances can be made for travel plans or needs, airline reservations, vacation plans etc. so please take these factors into consideration before starting this class.

You may have noticed that there are two sections on Mondays associated with this class. These are not required and you do not need to sign up. They are intended as a time (Mondays from 12:30-3:10pm) when you can work together on the homework or get help from the TA and get clarification on the homework solutions. Section will only be held on Mondays.


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...


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
Find out:
How electronic devices and systems such as Lasers, Fiberoptics, Cellphones, Telegraph (the Internet of the Victorian Age), Radio, Radar, Television, Computers, Semiconductor Microchips, CD Players, the Internet and more work and have changed our lives forever.

This course while accessible to the non-specialist should be of great interest to engineering students as well, giving an introduction to the background of the profession and topics relevant to being an inventor. The material will be presented by Lecture, Demonstrations and Video.

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 Jacob's 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-mortem on a Furby (sacrificed for science)

and much more!




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 Faraday 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 and elephants? Investigate the transformations in society brought about by electrification and its 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 W.W.II 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, here we will inquire into the history and relationship between the military and electronic 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.

Ken Pedrotti

Last updated: January 4, 2009