This book uses Matlab as an aid to learning and understanding basic circuit analysis. Most introductory texts on circuit theory introduce Ohm’s law and Kirchhoff’s law very quickly and are then off to the races. In this book we spend a fair amount of time in Chapter 1 putting these laws and other basic concepts in a historical perspective. This will provide you with the knowledge of where the basic ideas of electrical science come from.

Chapter 2 discusses circuit elements including resistors, capacitors, and inductors. Ohm's law is covered in Chapter 2 and Kirchhoff's law's are described in Chapter 3. Sinusoidal signals and phasors are introduced in Chapter 4 where the concept of RMS values are described. This allows both DC and steady-state AC circuits to be solved in subsequent chapters. Examples involving voltage dividers, current division, and source transformation are given in Chapter 5. Circuits that include an ideal operational amplifier (op amp) are described in Chapter 6. Mesh and nodal analysis are covered in Chapter 7, while Chapter 8 covers superposition, Thevenin's theorem, Norton's theorem, and maximum power transfer. Average power and transformers are covered in Chapter 9 and the theory behind the operation of DC motors is given in Chapter 10. Basic material on vectors and matrices are included in the Appendices. By restricting the analysis of AC circuits to sinusoidal signals we do not require any knowledge of differential equations and we leave transient analysis to a later course.

All circuit problems in this book contain only independent voltage and current sources. All worked examples in the book show the calculations using Matlab. In most cases Matlab is used as a calculator and a good scientific calculator could be used to solve most of the examples. The use of Matlab clarifies all of the steps. However, we also use Matlab to create a variety of plots that will help you understand the material. PSpice is another computer-based tool that the electrical engineering student should learn. However, PSpice is a simulator that simulates the behavior of an electrical circuit. In PSpice you basically draw a schematic diagram of the circuit and push a button. It will show you the voltages and currents in the circuit and plot useful graphs. It is particularly useful in more complex circuits involving transistors and other non-linear elements. We don’t cover such circuits in this book and therefore the use of Matlab is preferred where you need to understand how to solve the problem before using Matlab to calculate numerical results. We show how to use Matlab to plot PSpice-like graphs.

Many colleagues and students have influenced the development of this book. Their stimulating discussions, probing questions, and critical comments are greatly appreciated. Special thanks go to Michael Polis and Wayne Morrell who have provided important contributions to many of the examples and topics described in this book.

Richard E. Haskell

Darrin M. Hanna