Circuit Theory
Fall 2015 and Spring 2016
Catalog Data: 

ECE 320A -- Circuit Theory  (3 units)

Description: Electric circuits in the frequency domain; using sinusoidal steady-state, Laplace and Fourier methods; single-phase and three-phase power; time domain methods and convolution; transformed networks; natural frequencies; poles and zeros; two-port network parameters; and Fourier series analysis.

Grading: Regular grades are awarded for this course: A B C D E.

MATH 254 and ECE 220

Nilsson, James W. and Susan A. Riedel. Electric Circuits. 10th ed. Prentice Hall. 2015.

Course Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Calculate the complex power, in terms of real and reactive components, in single-phase sinusoidal, steady-state systems.
  2. Design a reactive load that improves a system’s power factor.
  3. Convert wye-connected reactive loads to delta-connected reactive loads and vice-versa.
  4. Solve for line currents, line voltages, phase currents, and phase voltages in arbitrarily interconnected balanced, three-phase circuits.
  5. Convert a given electrical circuit into its s-domain equivalent representation.
  6. Apply the Laplace Transform operator to generic waveforms and calculate the Inverse Laplace Transform of a given s-domain function.
  7. Solve for currents and voltages in generic RLC circuits.
  8. Model RLC circuits with transfer functions.
  9. Calculate the output waveform from an input waveform and a system’s transfer function.
  10. Apply the Initial Value and Final Value Theorems.
  11. Convolve two waveforms.
  12. Design simple passive frequency selective filters.
  13. Sketch the Bode diagrams associated with a transfer function.
  14. Design active frequency selective filters.
  15. Develop a Fourier Series expansion for a periodic waveform.
  16. Calculate, using the Fourier Series concept, a linear system’s output response when a periodic input waveform is applied to the linear system, if time permits.
Course Topics: 
  • Sinusoidal steady-state power calculations (5 classes)
  • Balanced three phase circuits (3 classes)
  • Introduction to the Laplace Transform (4 classes)
  • The Laplace Transform in circuit analysis (6 classes)
  • Convolution (3 classes)
  • Bode plots and frequency response (2 classes)
  • Introduction to frequency-selective circuits (1 class)
  • Active filter circuits (2 classes)
Class/Laboratory Schedule: 

Two, 75-minute lecture sessions per week

Relationship to Student Outcomes: 

ECE 320A contributes directly to the following specific Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering Student Outcomes of the ECE department:

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering (High)
  • an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability and sustainability (Low)
  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems (High)
  • the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental and societal context (Low)
Prepared by: 
Dr. Steven L. Dvorak, Dr. Hal Tharp
Prepared Date: 

University of Arizona College of Engineering