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Topic Title: Can anyone recommend decent/useful textbooks?
Topic Summary: 2nd year Electronics student looking for some advice
Created On: 01 July 2012 10:53 PM
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 01 July 2012 10:53 PM
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emzbemzb

Posts: 2
Joined: 13 June 2012

Hi, I'm soon to be starting my second year of Electronic Engineering at Southampton university. Obviously once I start the year lecturers will recommend textbooks relevant to their courses, but I was hoping other students could provide some insight as to which textbooks they have continuously found useful.

'The Art of Electronics' has been greatly recommended to me, but a 2nd edition is due to come out sometime this year or next...is worth waiting for it?

Thanks in advance for any and all help!
 02 July 2012 08:17 AM
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pheonix254

Posts: 1
Joined: 25 July 2008

Did that degree - only textbook I bought in 2nd year was "Stroud" advanced engineering mathematics. Everything else was easily available in the library if I needed it. Buying the books from new? I wouldn't recommend it, personally - its an expensive way of doing it. Pick them up second hand if you need them at all (I didn't, then again, I don't learn especially well from textbooks)

As for revised editions -it depends on the subject. Ask the question "has the subject changed in the last 5 years." Electrical distribution networks? No. Nanotechnology? Yes. I'm not familiar with "the art of electronics," there may have been a few changes, you can always have a look at the errata in the 2nd edition when it comes out to see what has changed.

I found that with electronics in general, it's such a fast moving subject that textbooks are obsolete by the time they come out (not true for all modules). Hence, lecture notes were a lot more useful than textbooks. I also found that there was little advantage in having a textbook before taking the course - it's obvious if you need a textbook once you've started, and with the likes of amazon, it takes mere days to get into your possession.

Feel free to take anything from that - it's up to you in the end. In my experience though, most 2nd years I knew regretted buying books early.
 21 July 2012 01:06 PM
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emzbemzb

Posts: 2
Joined: 13 June 2012

Ok, thanks very much for your help. I haven't used many textbooks thus far, but thought it worth asking in case people had any particular recommendations.

Thanks again!
 23 July 2012 04:01 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

"The art of electronics" (assuming you mean Horowitz and Hill) is, indeed, the best "real world" book on electronics ever written, the second edition came out in 1989.

It's the third edition you're waiting for, Winfield Hill has blogged on EEVblog to say that "the book should be out by late 2012 or early 2013."*

BUT, this book is not an academic text book, and will not get you through your degree (although it will help hugely with your project work). However, for many of us it is the only book we use after we graduate.


* EDIT: Looking at it again, it wasn't actually Winfield Hill blogging, it was another blogger "solarmist" posting an e-mail received from Prof Hill.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert

Edited: 23 July 2012 at 05:00 PM by amillar
 31 July 2012 03:41 PM
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MAWilson

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Joined: 22 February 2006

Just to reiterate "The Art of Electronics" is a great book and exceptional at giving a technical guide in understanding electronics. I'm lucky enough to have the first editon from 1980 and would recommend it as good book to have on hand. A typical second year electronics curriculum has topics such filters, power stage amplification, JFET, MOSFET etc. Would recommend "Electronic Circuit Analysis and Design" by Donald A. Newman.

Would not buy anything new though, there are plenty of sites you can get used former library books for a few p sometimes not adding shipping charges. Try the Abe Books website and see what you find. Hope that helps.
--------------------------------
M Wilson BEng (Hons) MIET
 05 September 2012 08:11 AM
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sfoster59

Posts: 10
Joined: 13 January 2010

To throw another one into the mix;
"Electronic Materials & Devices", Kasap - takes you through all the atomic-level work you'll have covered in first year, as well as the quantum stuff you'll need to know in year 2.
From Shrodinger to quantum wells, this book has it.

Sam Foster
IET SLO - SYLN
 05 September 2012 06:35 PM
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jencam

Posts: 608
Joined: 06 May 2007

Originally posted by: amillar
BUT, this book is not an academic text book, and will not get you through your degree (although it will help hugely with your project work). However, for many of us it is the only book we use after we graduate.


How do you know? Have you been privileged to a sneak preview of the 3rd edition?

How exactly is an academic textbook defined?
 06 September 2012 09:29 AM
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amillar

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I was referring to the second edition if you want to be pedantic. But I have no reason to believe that the third edition will be a complete rewrite for a completely different purpose! TAoE is such a well known "brand" that would be ridiculous.

An academic textbook is a text book used to support academic studies. That was never the aim of TAoE, which is why it's so useful. It doesn't give you a deep theoretical underpinning, just tells you what to do to build a working circuit. Useless for passing a degree, great for real life...as long as you are only trying to do what has been done before. But if you are going to do something NEW then you need the other stuff.

I am not clear how your posting helps anyone.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 08 September 2012 10:32 AM
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jencam

Posts: 608
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Originally posted by: amillar
I was referring to the second edition if you want to be pedantic. But I have no reason to believe that the third edition will be a complete rewrite for a completely different purpose! TAoE is such a well known "brand" that would be ridiculous.


You disappointed my son. He thought that you managed to have a peek at that fabled volume the world has been waiting years for.

An academic textbook is a text book used to support academic studies.


Is there anything in particular that makes a book an academic textbook?

Correct me if I have a gap in my knowledge, but universities are free to pick and choose whatever books they want to use. If they want to use material by Horowitz and Hill then there is nothing stopping them. It's not like in state schools where they have to use government approved books for NC subjects. The A Level electronics course offered at the college my son attended did not specify TAoE as a course text but there were copies in the department that were used as a teaching resource.

It doesn't give you a deep theoretical underpinning


Are you referring to physical level electronics like electromagnetic theory and semiconductor physics? TAoE is designed to cover circuit and some subsystem level electronics. There are plenty of other books around which covers physical level electronics in great detail.
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