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R/C Differentiators

February 13th Fact-of-the-Day

Most electronic textbooks and handbooks have a section about 'R/C differentiators.' A single-section R/C differentiator is a simple three-terminal network with capacitor connected between the input and output terminals and a resistor connected from the output terminal to the common ground terminal. R/C differentiators function as simple highpass filters. They have many applications in electronic circuits and are widely used. However, the name can be misleading and that fact is rarely explained in electronic texts. R/C differentiators differentiate in the sense that they respond differently to fast and slow changes. However, to a mathematician, differentiation is the process of finding a derivative. That is a somewhat similar process, but it is not what R/C differentiators do. ©2005 Martek International All rights reserved.


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