Wednesday, April 30, 2008


“Electronic theorists have been using the wrong pair of variables all these years—voltage and charge. The missing part of electronic theory was that the fundamental pair of variables is flux and charge,” said Chua. “The situation is analogous to what is called “Aristotle’s Law of Motion, which was wrong, because he said that force must be proportional to velocity. That misled people for 2000 years until Newton came along and pointed out that Aristotle was using the wrong variables. Newton said that force is proportional to acceleration—the change in velocity. This is exactly the situation with electronic circuit theory today. All electronic textbooks have been teaching using the wrong variables—voltage and charge—explaining away inaccuracies as anomalies. What they should have been teaching is the relationship between changes in voltage, or flux, and charge.”

No wonder those analog circuits classes always left me a little bit confused! Turns out they were teaching it all wrong.

OK, so maybe it wasn’t a violation of my natural intuition for electronics that made it difficult, but I will definitely buy one of the newly revised text books that these guys are predicting once they come out just to be sure.


Anonymous said...

Memrister -- The electrical analog to the physical spring?

Nolan said...

Memrister sounds very cool. I am interested!

Bryan said...

It's not really like a spring, as far as I understand. I think inductors and/or capacitors already fill that role. The memristor with its hysteresis sounds a little more interesting than a simple spring.