Introductory Circuits for Electrical and Computer Engineering + PSpice Manual/ M Package (V. 9)

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9780130763686: Introductory Circuits for Electrical and Computer Engineering + PSpice Manual/ M Package (V. 9)
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Readers benefit because the book is based on these three themes: (1) it builds an understanding of concepts based on information the reader has previously learned; (2) it helps stress the relationship between conceptual understanding and problem-solving approaches; (3) the authors provide numerous examples and problems that use realistic values and situations to give users a strong foundation of engineering practice. The book also includes a PSpice Supplement which contains problems to teach readers how to construct PSpice source files; and this PSpice Version 9.2 can be used to solve many of the exercises and problems found in the book. Topical emphasis is on the basic techniques of circuit analysis–Illustrated via a Digital-to-Analog Resistive Ladder (Chapter 2); the Flash Converter (Chapter 4); Dual Slope Analog-to-Digital Converter (Chapter 5); Effect of parasite inductance on the step response of a series RLC circuit (Chapter 6); a Two-Stage RC Ladder Network (Chapter 8); and a Switching Surge Voltage (Chapter 9). For Electrical and Computer Engineers.

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From the Back Cover:

About the Authors

James W. Nilsson taught at Iowa State University for 39 years. Since retiring from Iowa State, he has been a visiting professor at Notre Dame, California Polytechnic at San Luis Obispo, and the United States Air Force Academy. In 1962, he co-authored (with R. G. Brown) Introduction to Linear Systems Analysis (John Wiley & Sons). In 1968, he authored Introduction to Circuits, Instruments, and Electronics (Harcourt Brace and World). Professor Nilsson received a Standard Oil Outstanding Teacher Award in 1968, the IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1992, and the McGraw-Hill Jacob Millman Award in 1995. In 1995 he was elected a Fellow of the IEEE.

Susan A. Riedel has been a member of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Marquette University since 1981. She also holds a clinical research appointment with the Department of Orthopaedics, Medical College of Wisconsin. She was a visiting professor with the Bioengineering Unit, University of Strathclyde, Glascow, Scotland, as a Fulbright Scholar during the 1989-1990 academic year. She has received two awards for teaching excellence at Marquette, and was recognized for her research contributions with an award from the Chicago Unit of the Shriner's Hospitals.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introductory Circuits for Electrical and Computer Engineering is a one-semester version of the most widely used introductory circuits text of the past 15 years. Importantly, the underlying teaching approaches and philosophies remain unchanged. The goals are:

  • To build an understanding of concepts and ideas explicitly in terms of previous learning. The learning challenges faced by students of engineering circuit analysis are prodigious; each new concept is built on a foundation of many other concepts. In Electric Circuits, much attention is paid to helping students recognize how new concepts and ideas fit together with those previously learned.
  • To emphasize the relationship between conceptual understanding and problem-solving approaches. Developing the students' problem-solving skills continues to be the central challenge in this course. To address this challenge, examples and simple drill exercises are used to demonstrate problem-solving approaches and to offer students practice opportunities. We do so not with the primary aim of giving students procedural models for solving problems; rather, we emphasize problem solving as a thought process in which one applies conceptual understanding to the solution of a practical problem. As such, in both the textual development and in the worked-out examples, we place great emphasis on a problem-solving process based on concepts rather than the use of rote procedures. Students are encouraged to think through problems before attacking them, and we often pause to consider the broader implications of a specific problem-solving situation.
  • To provide students with a strong foundation of engineering practices. There are limited opportunities in a sophomore-year circuit analysis course to introduce students to real-world engineering experiences. We continue to emphasize the opportunities that do exist by making a strong effort to develop problems and exercises that use realistic values and represent realizable physical situations. We have included many application-type problems and exercises to help stimulate students' interest in engineering. Many of these problems require the kind of insight an engineer is expected to display when solving problems.


The condensation of Electric Circuits to a one-semester textbook on introductory circuits for electrical and computer engineers has been accomplished by showing how the basic techniques of circuit analysis are used to analyze circuits of particular interest in the world of digital computation. Hence, after introducing circuit variables and basic circuit elements in Chapter 1 some circuit simplification techniques are introduced in Chapter 2 that are then used to facilitate the analysis of a digital-to-analog resistive ladder circuit.

The digital-to-analog resistive ladder is the first of a series of Practical Perspectives that supports the orientation of the textbook toward digital systems. The others are:

  • Chapter 4–The Operational Amplifier
    Practical Perspective–The Flash Converter
  • Chapter 5–The Natural and Step Response of RL and RC Circuits
    Practical Perspective–Dual Slope Analog-to-Digital Converter
  • Chapter 6–Natural and Step Response of RLC Circuits
    Practical Perspective–Parasitic Inductance
  • Chapter 8–Introduction to the Laplace Transform
    Practical Perspective–Two-Stage RC Ladder
  • Chapter 9–The Laplace Transform in Circuit Analysis
    Practical Perspective–Creation of a Voltage Surge

Integration of Computer Tools

Computer tools cannot replace the traditional methods for mastering the study of electric circuits. They can, however, assist students in the learning process by providing a visual representation of a circuit's behavior, validating a calculated solution, reducing the computational burden of more complex circuits, and iterating toward a desired solution using parameter variation. This computational support is often invaluable in the design process.

Introductory Circuits for Electrical and Computer Engineering continues the support for two popular computer tools, PSpice and MATLAB, into the main text with the addition of icons identifying chapter problems suited for exploration with one or both of these tools. The icon P identifies those problems to investigate with PSpice, while the icon M identifies problems to investigate with MATLAB. Instructors are provided with computer files containing the PSpice or MATLAB simulation of the problems so marked.


We continue to support the emphasis on design of circuits in two ways. First, design oriented chapter problems have been explicitly labeled with the 4-diamond icon, enabling students and instructors to identify those problems with a design focus. Second, the identification of problems specifically suited to exploration with PSpice or MATLAB suggests design opportunities using one or both of these computer tools.

Text Design and Pedagogical Features

Introductory Circuits for Electrical and Computer Engineering continues the successful design introduced in the sixth edition of Electric Circuits, including the following features:

  • Practical Perspective introductions are located opposite eight chapter opening pages and are highlighted with a second-color background.
  • Practical Perspective examples at the end of these eight chapters are set apart in an easy-to-identify separate section.
  • Practical Perspective problems in the Chapter Problem sets are indicated with an icon for easy reference.
  • Key terms are set in boldface when they are first defined. They also appear in boldface in the chapter summaries. This makes it easier for students to find the definitions of important terms.
  • Design problems in the Chapter Problem sets are indicated with an icon for easy reference.
  • PSpice problems in the Chapter Problem sets are indicated with an icon for easy reference.
  • MATLAB problems in the Chapter Problem sets are indicated with an icon for easy reference.


Solved Numerical Examples

Solved numerical examples are used extensively throughout the text to help students understand how theory is applied to circuit analysis. Because many students value worked examples more than any other aspect of the text, these examples represent an important opportunity to influence the development of student's problem-solving behavior. The nature and format of the examples in Introductory Circuits for Electrical and Computer Engineering are a reflection of the overall teaching approach of the text. When presenting a solution, we place great emphasis on the importance of problem solving as a thought process that applies underlying concepts, as we discussed earlier. By emphasizing this idea—even in the solution of simple problems—we hope to communicate that this approach to problem solving can help students handle the more complex problems they will encounter later on. Some characteristics of the examples include:

  • encouraging the student to study the problem or the circuit and to make initial observations before diving into a solution pathway;
  • emphasizing the individual stages of the solution as part of solving the problem systematically, without suggesting that there are rote procedures for problem solving;
  • exploring decision making, that is, the idea that we are often faced with choosing among many different solution approaches; and
  • suggesting that students challenge their results by emphasizing the importance of checking and testing answers based on their knowledge of circuit theory and the real world.

Drill Exercises

Drill exercises are included in the text to give students an opportunity to test their understanding of the material they have just read. The drill exercises are presented in a double-column format as a way of signaling to students that they should stop and solve the exercises before proceeding to the next section.

Homework Problems

The homework problems are one of the book's most attractive features. The problems are designed around the following objectives (in parentheses are the corresponding problem categories identified in the Instructor's Manual and an illustrative problem number):

  • To give students practice in using the analytical techniques developed in the text (Practice; see Problem 3.7)
  • To show students that analytical techniques are tools, not objectives (Analytical Tool; see Problem 3.2)
  • To give students practice in choosing the analytical method to be used in obtaining a solution (Open Method; see Problem 3.48)
  • To show students how the results from one solution can be used to find other information about a circuit's operation (Additional Information; see Problem 3.65)
  • To encourage students to challenge the solution either by using an alternate method or by testing the solution to see if it makes sense in terms of known circuit behavior (Solution Check; see Problem 5.12)
  • To introduce students to design oriented problems (Design; see Problem 4.30)
  • To give students practice in deriving and manipulating equations where quantities of interest are expressed as functions of circuit variables such as R, L, C, w, and so forth; this type of problem also supports the design process (Derivation; see Problem 7.27)
  • To challenge students with problems that will stimulate their interest in both electrical and computer engineering (Practical; see Problem 9.76)


In writing the first seven chapters of the text, we have assumed that the reader has taken a course in elementary differential and integral calculus. We have also assumed that the reader has had an introductory physics course, at either the high school or university level, that introduces the concepts of energy, power, electric charge, electric current, electric potential, and electromagnetic fields. In writing the final two chapters, we have assumed the student has had, or is enrolled in, an introductory course in differential equations.


Students and professors are constantly challenged in terms of time and energy by the confines of the classroom and the importance of integrating new information and technologies into an electric circuits course. Through the following supplements, we believe we have succeeded in making some of these challenges more manageable.

PSpice for Introductory Circuits for Electrical and Computer Engineering

This supplement is published as a separate booklet to facilitate its use at a computer. This supplement presents topics in PSpice in the same order as those presented in the text, and expressly supports the use of OrCad PSpice Release 9.2.

Student Workbook

This new supplement is provided for those students who might benefit from some additional "coaching" in their problem solving skills. Each solution technique is presented as a recipe, or a series of solution steps, and illustrated for several example problems. Then problems are presented for the students to solve, and each step in the solution is prompted individually. Finally, students are directed to additional Chapter Problems from the text to which the technique may be applied. The workbook is available as a PDF document on the companion web site so students can print and use whatever sections of the workbook they need.

Instructor's Manual

The Instructor's Manual enables professors to orient themselves quickly to this text and the supplement package. This supplement can be found on the book's web site: .

For easy reference, the following information is organized for each chapter:

  • a chapter overview
  • problem categorizations
  • problem references by chapter section
  • a list of examples

Solutions Manual

The solutions manual is available on CD, it contains solutions with supporting figures to each of the nearly 650 end-of-chapter problems. These solutions are presented on the CD in both PDF and LATEX™ format. This supplement is available free to all adopting faculty, it is not available to students. Files for the PSpice solutions and MATLAB solutions for all indicated problems are included on the CD.

Companion Web Site

The companion web site to accompany the text is located at . The following materials are available on the web site:

  • Power Point slides and key figures from the text
  • student workbook
  • instructor's manual
  • Syllabus Manager™
  • sample chapters
  • dynamic message board


We continue to express our appreciation for the contributions of Norman Wittels of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His contributions to the Practical Perspectives greatly enhanced both this edition and the previous one.

There were many hard-working people behind the scenes of our publisher who deserve our thanks and gratitude for their efforts on behalf of this book. We thank Tom Robbins, Irwin Zucker, Jody McDonnell, and Alice Dworkin for all their hard work.

We are deeply indebted to the many instructors and students who have offered positive feedback, suggestions for improvement. Gary E. Ford and James McNames have been very helpful in shaping the contents of this book. We are especially thankful to Ken Kruempel who spent considerable time and effort proofreading and verifying the accuracy of content in the text and the solutions manual.

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