This is a course on practical electronics for physics students. The course will teach you the basics of making electrical measurements and building useful circuits.

Instructor: Amar Vutha (amar.vutha@utoronto)
TAs: Scott Smale (ssmale@physics)
        Shira Jackson (sjackson@physics)


#3: New lecture room, MP 134

Please note the new location of the lectures, instead of MP 1115.

#2: Section Assignments

Section A (Monday) and Section B (Friday) will be assigned on a first-pick basis. Fill out the Doodle poll to select your sections. Write your full name in the poll.

#1: Lec 1 & Lab 1

The first lecture will be on January 5th. The first labs will be on January 9 (Section A) and January 13 (Section B). The lab manuals for each week will be posted on the PHY405 manuals page.


Labs: MP 238.

  • Section A: Monday, 2-5 pm.
  • Section B: Friday, 2-5 pm.

Lectures: MP 134. Thursday, 2 pm.

Tinkering time: MP 238. Monday, 9 am - 1 pm.


I recommend that you find a copy of The Art of Electronics, by Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill.

A copy of the 3rd edition is on reserve at the Physics Library.

Ron Mancini's Op Amps for Everyone is a great introduction to understanding opamp circuits.

An online reference that might be useful is Lessons in Electrical Circuits.

Please explore the Resources page.


  • 9 labs. 10 points per lab (best 8 out of 9 will be considered). 80% of final grade.
    • You will turn in a lab report after each lab (max. 4 pages). The lab reports should be typed up, or very clearly hand-written. You will also maintain a lab notebook during the course, to jot down measurements, and to catalog your own learning and progress.
    • This is what we expect from your lab reports.
    • Each lab will be scored for: preparation (2), in-lab execution (5), lab report (3).
    • The preparation grade will be based on a pre-lab quiz, given out at the beginning of each lab. The quiz will test you on the topics listed in the lab manuals.
    • Lab reports should be submitted in MP 238, at the beginning of the next lab.
    • Late policy for lab reports: -1 point per day.
  • Final project, 3 weeks. 20% of final grade.
    • Project topics to be picked by week 7 and discussed with the instructor.
    • Projects will be scored on the following criteria: originality (2), execution (10), testing (2), report (6).
  • Please remember The Rules regarding academic integrity.


The project topics are entirely up to you. If you borrow schematics or designs from the internet, or from published articles, clearly acknowledge them. Note that projects will be scored for originality.
Circuits in your project should not involve voltages over 60 V, nor currents exceeding 2 A.