# Electronics for Absolute Beginners, Study Guide, Chapter 1

Hi,
I am Kareen, I am a student and I am currently pursuing a degree in Electronics Technology. I decided that the best way to learn is by sharing what I just learned; it gives me a chance to really understand the subject if I have to explain it to someone else. I am in no way a subject matter expert in this area, I am merely a beginner. Every time I cover a chapter on my book (Foundations of Electronics, 5TH Edition by Russel Meade), I will post a corresponding link so others can study along with me, post suggestions, ask questions, and post answers. Because I am using a book and posting a corresponding link, this will be a structured study guide for those who want to learn electronics outside of the classroom.

Chapter 2 is now finished. Here is the link to Chapter 2.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Electronics-for-Absolute-Beginners-Chapter-2/

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## Step 1: The Atom

Electronics is concerned with manipulating the movement of electrons, therefore, It is important to begin our study with investigating the atom. All matters (anything you can see, feel, taste, hear, smell, and even things that are invisible to human senses) are made up of atoms.

The Atom has sub particles that is particularly of interest to electronic technicians and engineers. This is because one of the sub particles of an atom is the electron, which as stated above is the basis of electronics. The other sub particles of an atom are, protons and neutrons, which are located in the nucleus. It is important to understand these sub particles and how they interact in order to manipulate them.

Click on the yellow square to find out more about the atom.
verence says: 2 years ago
Your definition of 'isotope' is incorrect.
Atoms of the same element (same number of protons) are called isotopes, if they have different number of neutrons (compared against each other - not against the number of protons), they are called isotopes.
Example:
- Hydrogen: 1 proton, no neutrons
- Deuterium: 1 proton, 1 neutron
- Tritium: 1 proton, 2 neutrons
All of them are isotopes of hydrogen.

Btw: Hiding information behind the yellow squares makes a nice game of hide and show, but makes it hard to use your i'ble on devices with small screens and impossible to print or export it to PDF to read later or file it.
elektrobot (author) in reply to verence2 years ago
Maybe I need to word it differently. But I fail to find the conflict you mentioned.

what makes an isotope is the difference in the number of neutron between two atoms which have the same number of protons.

Plainly speaking, when the neutron is not the same number as the proton, then that atom is an isotope.

For example, here are the 3 kinds of carbon atoms.

.......................................protons/ neutrons/ mass number
carbon-12 ..........................6 ............. 6............... 12
carbon-13.......................... 6.............. 7.............. .13
carbon-14.......................... 6.............. 8.............. .14

Isotopes are atoms which have the same atomic number but different mass numbers. They have the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons.
verence in reply to elektrobot2 years ago
> what makes an isotope is the difference in the number of neutron between
> two atoms which have the same number of protons.
Correct!
It is the difference in the number of neutrons between the atoms that counts and not a difference in the number of neutrons and protons of a single atom.

> Plainly speaking, when the neutron is not the same number as the proton,
> then that atom is an isotope.
No! The relation between the number protons and neutrons has nothing to do with isotopes. For the heavier atoms, you will not have any (stable) one with the same number of protons and neutrons.

> .......................................protons/ neutrons/ mass number
> carbon-12 ..........................6 ............. 6............... 12
> carbon-13.......................... 6.............. 7.............. .13
> carbon-14.......................... 6.............. 8.............. .14

In the bottom right square in step 1, you say 'When neutrons are not the same number as the protons they are called isotopes'.
For carbon-12, the number of protons is the same as the number of neutrons, but is IS an isotope of carbon.

elektrobot (author) in reply to verence2 years ago
I agree that carbon 12 is an isotope. This would also mean that all elements are isotopes.

Why are all elements isotopes?

Yes two atoms are compared, but ultimately what is being compared inside them are the number of protons and neutrons. So the differences between the number of protons and neutrons does help identify the isotope.

I understand that you're saying that the relationship between the sub particles of those two atoms is what defines an isotope. However it is apparent that an atom alone can be found an isotope based on its sub atomic information.

verence in reply to elektrobot2 years ago
Elements are not isotopes. An isotope is a special manifestation of an element.

An atom with a certain nucleus (core) - a certain combination of protons and neutrons - is an isotope of one special element. Which element is defined by the number of protons and nothing else.

Any two atoms with the same number of protons in their nuclei (cores) are isotopes of the same element (e.g. both are Carbon). If they have the same number of neutrons too, they are the same isotope (e.g. C-12). If the have different numbers of neutrons, the are different isotopes of the same element (e.g. C-12 and C-14).

Any two atoms with different numbers of protons are also isotopes - not of each other but just of their respective elements. E.g. N-14 and C-14 are isotopes of Nitrogen and Carbon resp. but not isotopes of each others.

At no point in all this is the number of protons compared against the number of neutrons. Look at the number of protons to find the element, then look at the number of neutrons to find the isotope of the element. The ratio, equality or non-equality of protons and neutrons is completely meaningless.

Yes, for some elements like carbon, oxygen, sodium... the most common isotope has a ratio of 1 for protons:neutrons, but that is just an interesting fact.
elektrobot (author) in reply to verence2 years ago
verence, everything you said in your last comment is absolutely right. I will make the necessary adjustment to my definition of the isotope.
limeydragon says: 17 days ago
This is one of the only conversations I've ever seen that didn't just end up being an all out trolling battle,well played both of you ^.^
sapphire101 says: 4 months ago
hi electrobot! the first time i saw instructable, i knew it would help me to dig in my understanding about electronics. i'll definitely love these stuffs =)
dslrmotion says: 7 months ago
I stumbled upon this tutorial by mistake but really glad I did. I began to understand things I thought I would never really understand. Great teaching technique and to the point. I'm watching them all. THANK YOU!
be-Abee says: 1 year ago
Hey, Author. I Really Liked Your Instrucatble. That is Really great for beginners. And, In Topic-13 You share one question which is,
"how do the electrons travel from the sun to earth?"
I'll help you to find the answer(which may be the Reason behind). It's "Interference Phenomenon Of Light". Young's Law Of Interference. Try to digg more into it. Thanx for your Sharing. It's indeed a worth Stuff to learn from.
hobie35 says: 1 year ago
"in a neutrally charged atom, the number of protons are the same as the electrons."

That was written in the last box and its throwing me off. shouldn't it be neutrons instead of electrons in your statement?
elektrobot (author) in reply to hobie351 year ago
sorry, i just now caught this question. yes you will absolutely right. I will make the correction.
Amar143institute says: 1 year ago
great, I lIke ..........
mbeaulieu says: 2 years ago
Great explanation! My mind was blown...
Thanor says: 2 years ago
Thank's for the lesson, now let's begin chapter 2 ^^
elektrobot (author) in reply to Thanor2 years ago
No prob.