What Is Electrical Engineering

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What Is Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering is a discipline of engineering that comprises of the study, application and research of  elecricity, electronics and electromagnitism. This particulaty field of engineering started booming to become an identified occupation during the second half of the 19th century. This boom was due to the commercialization of the electric telegraph, the telephone and the distribution and use of electric power. The ever growing use of such devices made electronics part of everyday life. The invention of the transistor and the later intergrated circuit revolutionised the entire industry as it was much cheaper to produce electronics and therefore allowed the technology to be intergrated into every household item possible.

Although ellectrical engineering is considered to be a subfield on its own it is made up of a number of seperate subfields altogether. These subfields are as follows:

·         Electronics - Electronic engineering is the design, creation,and testing of electric circuits. These engineers make use of circuit components such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes and transistors to obtain a particular functionality. The development of this field expanded drastically after the second world war when consumer devices began to develope such as radio and modern TV. When the transistor came to be millions of components could fit into  a small space to produce better outcomes this invention allowed for the computors and other devices we see today.

·         Digital computers - This field of engineering deals with the design and operation of computers and computor systems. These activities may include design and construction of new hardware such as supercomputors, tablets, PDAs and computors or the use of computors to control and manipuate other machinery. Computor engineers can aslo work on software developement although complex software design is normally the occupation of sofware engineers which is a field on its own.

·         Power engineering - This is by far on of the most important fields in Engineering. It deals with the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity as well as the design and construction of all devices reated to the above activities. Such devices may include transformers, electric generators, electric motors, high voltage engineering, and power electronics.

·         Telecommunications - Telecommunications engineering focuses on the transmission of information through a medium which known as a channel. Transmission can be conducted through coax cable, optical fiber or free space. If transmissions travel through free space the information needs to be encoded in a carrier signal so that the informtion can move to a carrier frequency so that it may be transmitted, this process is known as modulation. Modulation techiniques of amplitude modulation and frequency modulation need to be balanced out by the engineer so that the transmission is received in optimal condition. The engineers also design the transmitters and receivers needed for such systems.

·         Control systems - This field focuses on mathematically modeling a wide variety of dynamic systems and the making of controllers that will cause such systems to act in the manner in which it is desired. To put such controllers into  operation electrical engineers use electronic circuits,digital signal processors, microcontrollers, and programmable logic controls. Control engineering has a multitude of application from the propultion system of a rocket to the cruise control fucntion in automobiles.

·         Signal processing - In this subfield the engineer would deal with the analysis and manipulation of signals. A signal can either be analog or digital. When dealing with analog signals, signal processing may involve the amplification and filtering of audio signals or the modulation and demodulation of these signals for telecommunications. On the other hand, digital signal processing has o do with compression, error detection and error correction of digitally sampled signals.

·         Instrumentation - Intrumentation engineering involves the design and contruction of devices that are used to meausre physical quantities such and flow, height, temperature and pressure. Inorder for such instuments to be design accurately the engineers need to have excellent knowledge in physics that extend beyond the boundries of even electromagnetic theory.

·         Microelectronics - This field involves the design and fabrication of electronic components on a microscopic level. These micro-components are used in intergrated circuits or used by itself as independent electronic components. The most commonly used micro-electronic components are semiconductor transistors, but regular components such as resistors and capacitors can be constructed on a microscopic level as well. Components can be scaled down to an even smaller, nanometer size. This is called Nanoelectronics. This field contains a significant amount of chemistry and material science, also the engineer would have to be exceptionally knowlegible in quantum mechanics.

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