It is common in electronics
courses for an analogy to be drawn between electrical and mechanical phenomena. In fact, a lot of circuit analysis
methods and equations apply directly to mechanics, and vice versa. An LC (inductor-capacitor) oscillating tank circuit
is akin to a spring and dashpot. Resistance of a wire is likened to skin friction of water flowing through a hose.
Who among us can forget those lessons? This Electronic Analogy Quiz from the November 1961 edition of Popular Electronics
presents a challenge both because some not-so-familiar examples of analogies are offered, and because some are a real
stretch. Therefore, don't feel too bad if you don't get a few. That's my way of saying that I didn't get all of them
right ;-) Answers and explanations are at the bottom of the page.
November 1961 Popular Electronics
[Table of Contents]People old and young enjoy waxing nostalgic about
and learning some of the history of early electronics. Popular Electronics was published from October 1954 through April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
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Electronic Analogy QuizElectronic circuits
perform functions similar to many mechanical devices and natural phenomena, and finding an analogy between them often
leads to a better understanding of both. See if you can match the numbered electronic circuits on the left with the
lettered sketches on the right.
Electronic Analogy Quiz Answers
1. Low-pass filter
A low-pass filter "clips off" signals above a certain frequency; a tunnel "clips off" objects
above a certain height.
2. Zener diode regulator
D. Centrifugal governor
A zener diode "resists" changes in voltage; a governor resists changes in speed.
3. Push-pull circuit
H. Two-man saw
A signal is alternately "pushed" and "pulled" in a push-pull circuit; a two-man saw is
alternately "pushed" and "pulled" by its operators.
4. Wave trap
A. Drain trap
A wave trap removes unwanted signals; a drain trap "removes" unwanted odors.
C. Coil spring suspension
A filter "absorbs" signal "peaks" before they reach the associated circuits;
a spring "absorbs" vibration "peaks" before they reach the associated chassis.
6. Diode clipper
E. Hedge clipper
A diode clipper "clips" off "peaks" in a signal; a hedge clipper" clips" of "peaks"
in a hedge.
7. High-pass filter
A high-pass filter obstructs the passage of signals below a certain frequency; a mountain
obstructs the passage of objects below a certain height.
8. A.C. rectifier
An a.c. rectifier allows current to flow in one direction ; a ratchet-and-pawl allows
a shaft to turn in one direction.