Chapter 2. Circuit Concepts, Variables and Elements

The objectives of this chapter are to introduce:

  • concepts such asĀ voltage, current, power, and energy that we will be using throughout the text. Some of these concepts are likely to be familiar, either from a physics course or perhaps from everyday experience (we’ve all changed the 1.5V AAA, AA, or other size batteries in devices). We start with a review of some basic physics so as to familiarize (or re-familiarize) ourselves with some fundamental ideas;
  • circuits, circuit components, schematics, and the assembly and testing of circuits using solderless breadboards and multimeters;
  • circuit terms (such as nodes and loops) and models (such as ideal independent and dependent voltage sources and perfect conductors);
  • electronic devices, such as light-emitting diodes (LED’s);
  • laws governing the behavior of currents and voltages in circuits;

After this chapter, you should be able to:

  • begin to draw and interpret circuit schematics;
  • analyze simple circuits, determining the voltages, currents, power, and energy levels associated with circuit elements;
  • assemble and test simple circuits using solderless breadboards and multimeters




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Applied Electrical Engineering Fundamentals by David J. McLaughlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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