Difference between Electrical and Electronics

Key difference: Electrical is defined as anything relating to or concerned with electricity. Electronics is defined as the science and technology concerned with the development and applications of electronic devices and circuits.

According to the given definitions of the terms, electrical and electronics, one can infer that electrical devices work on electricity, whereas the term electronics is concerned with the science and usage of the electrical devices. When talking about electrical and electronics devices, the difference is based on the behavior of these two devices, how they manipulate electricity to do their work. Electrical devices mainly change current into another form of energy such as heat or light. Electronics devices do the same thing, but they manipulate current in such a way that the device can do the given or a specified task.

According to Wikipedia, electricity is a physical phenomena that is associated with the presence and flow of electric charge. It gives a wide variety of effects, such as lightning, static electricity, electromagnetic induction and the flow of electrical current. Also, electromagnetic radiation is used in sending and receiving signals through radio waves through electricity.

Electrical is defined as anything relating to or concerned with electricity. In electricity, charges produce electromagnetic fields which act on other charges. It occurs due to several phenomenons such as electric charge, which is a property of subatomic particles that is used to determine their electromagnetic interactions. The electrically charged matter is produced by electromagnetic fields. It is also created by electric current, a movement or flow of electrically charged particles. In order to produce electricity, an electric potential is used, which is the capacity of an electric field to do work on an electric charge. Similarly, electric power where electric current is used to energize equipments, and electromagnets can also be used.

The phenomenon of electricity has been under study since the ancient times. Even then, the practical applications using electricity were few and it wasn’t until the late nineteenth century that the engineers were able to put it to an industrial and residential use. The rapid expansion in electrical technology during that time transformed the industry and the society. Electricity's extraordinary resourcefulness meant that it could be put to almost a limitless set of applications which include transport, heating, lighting, communications, and computation. Now, electrical power is considered as the backbone of modern industrial society.

When the field of electronics was invented in 1883, electrical devices had already been around for at least 100 years. For example:

  • The first electric batteries were invented by a fellow named Alessandro Volta in 1800. Volta’s contribution is so important that the common volt is named for him.
  • The electric telegraph was invented in the 1830s and popularized in America by Samuel Morse, who invented the famous Morse code which is used to encode the alphabet and numerals into a series of short and long clicks that could be transmitted via telegraph.

According to Wikipedia, electronics is the science which deals with electrical circuits that involve active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits. It understands the behavior of components and their ability to control the flow of electrons through them. It is this electron flow which helps in the amplification of signals and the working of electronic devices which is widely used in information processing, telecommunications, and signal processing. It is the ability of electronic devices to act as switches which makes the digital information processing possible.

Electronics is considered to be distinct from other fields of science and technology, as it deals with the generation, distribution, switching, storage, and conversion of electrical energy from one form to another using wires, motors, generators, batteries, switches, relays, transformers, resistors, and other passive components.

Nowadays, most electronic devices use semiconductor components to perform electron control. The study of semiconductor devices and related technology is considered a branch of solid state physics, whereas the design and construction of electronic circuits to solve practical problems come under electronics engineering.

One should keep in mind that the distinction between electric and electronic devices can be a bit blurry. At times, a simple electrical device can often include some electronic components in them. For example, a toaster may contain an electronic thermostat that attempts to keep the heat at just the right temperature to make perfect toast. Also, even the most complicated electronic devices can have simple electrical components in them. For example, TV remote control is a pretty complicated little electronic device, but it uses batteries, which are simple electrical devices.

Comparison between Electrical and Electronics:

 

Electrical

Electronics

Definition

Electrical is defined as anything relating to or concerned with electricity.

 

Electronics is defined as the science and technology concerned with the development and applications of electronic devices and circuits.

Behavior

Electrical devices mainly change current into another form of energy such as heat or light.

Electronics devices manipulate current in such a way so that it can do a particular task.

Relation

It relates to producing or being operated by electricity.

It is concerned with application of devices involving flow of electrons.

Manipulation

Electrical devices do not manipulate data.

Electronic devices can manipulate data to assign meaning to it.

Current flow

They use Alternate Current i.e. AC

They use Direct Current i.e. DC

Voltage

They use high voltage.

They work on low voltage.

Image Courtesy: freeitpakistan.com, en.wikipedia.org

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Comments

electrical is large scale conduction of electricity while electronics is miner conduction by fixed polarity.

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