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This module is part of a collection of modules that address engineering applications of PreCalculus. The collection is intended for use by students enrolled in a special section of MATH 1508 (PreCalculus) for preengineers at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Complex numbers


It is essential that engineers master the concept of complex numbers because the important role that complex numbers play in a variety of application areas. In this module applications in the field of electric circuits are provided.

Alternating current (ac) electric circuits

Earlier we introduced a number of components that are typically found in common electric circuits. These included voltage sources, current sources and resistors. We also observed that the behavior of an electric circuit could be predicted by using several laws from Physics, including Ohm’s Law and Kirchoff’s Laws.

In this laboratory exercise, we will introduce two additional components of electric circuits: the inductor and the capacitor. These elements are typically found in electric circuits which involve sinusoidally varying voltage or current sources. These circuits are called alternating current or AC circuits. AC circuits abound in the physical world. The voltage and current that power household appliances comes from AC sources.

Figure 1 shows the plot for a sinusoidally varying waveform that represents the output of an AC voltage source. Such a waveform could also be used to represent the current that is supplied by an AC current source. It is important to note that the waveform has a repetitive or periodic nature.

Sketch of a sinusoidal waveform.

In the figure, we note that the amount of time that occurs between successive maxima of the sinusoidal waveform is equal to the period . The angular frequency of the waveform is denoted by the symbol ω and is defined in terms of the period by the equation

ω = 2 π T rad / s size 12{ω= { {2`π} over {T} } ` ital "rad"/s} {}

If we denote the amplitude as V max , then we can express the sinusoidal waveform for the voltage mathematically as

v ( t ) = V max cos ( ω t + θ v ) size 12{v \( t \) =V rSub { size 8{"max"} } "cos" \( ω`t+θ rSub { size 8{v} } \) } {}

Here the instantaneous value of the voltage is measured in the units volts. The term θ v is called the phase angle of the sinusoidal waveform. It is measured in degrees. Its usage and importance in the analysis of AC circuits will be discussed later in the course during the study of trigonometry.

Inductors and capacitors are found in circuits of all types and designs, so their understanding is critical to the education of an engineer or scientist. One important distinction between resistors and these two new components (inductors and capacitors) is that they are analyzed using different mathematic techniques. In the case of a resistor, it was quite easy to determine the relationship between the current, voltage and resistance present in a circuit by means of simple algebra. In the case of the inductor and the capacitor, we will see that we must expand our knowledge of mathematics particulary in the are of complex numbers to analyze circuits that contain inductors and capacitors.

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Can someone give me problems that involes radical expressions like area,volume or motion of pendulum with solution

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Source:  OpenStax, Math 1508 (laboratory) engineering applications of precalculus. OpenStax CNX. Aug 24, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11337/1.3
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