The main components used in electronics are of two general types: passive (e.g. resistors and capacitors) and active (e.g. transistors and integrated circuits). The main difference between active and passive components is that active ones require to be powered in some way to make them work. Active components can also be used to amplify signals.

If you aren't already familiar with how materials conduct electricity and behave as insulators and semi-conductors you might find it helpful to read the pages linked to the picture of a good conductor before going on to read about components.

Conductors and semiconductors
(On the other hand, if you are interested in musical conductors you could try this...)

But if you're ready - choose a component on which you would like further information...
Passive components





Active components

Junction field effect transistor

Metal oxide field effect transistor

Bipolar transistor

Operational amplifier

Logic gates

Electronics homepage
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University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS, Scotland.