Gizmodo University: The Bright Ideas Behind LEDs

In this week's Gizmodo University: Discover Electronics, we will investigate the practical and theoretical fundamentals of electronics. This lesson, the first of four in the series, is presented in conjunction with Sparkle Labs.

Welcome, students! Today, we're examining the fundamentals of electronics: how electrons move and how we measure them; how circuits work and what happens when they fail. We'll also learn a bit about LEDs.

Chapter 1: Electrical Pressure

OK, now we have a basic understanding of what electrons are, how they move through conductive material, and how batteries function within a circuit. Next, let's crack open our Discover Electronics kits and take a look at what's inside.

Chapter 2: The Solderless Breadboard

DO NOT DISASSEMBLE YOUR BREADBOARD! The breadboard in that video was a trained stunt professional, so please don't try that at home. But now that we know how it works, let's take a look at how to power ours up.

Chapter 3: 7805 Power Regulator

Right then, now that the juice is flowing let's put it to use powering a small light while we learn about the circuit!

Chapter 4: First Circuit: LED Driver

Watching that LED blink on when the circuit completed sure was satisfying! Since we've mastered the basics of circuitry, let's talk about the basics of electronics theory: volts, amps and ohms.

Chapter 5: Volts, Amps and Ohms

You might want to take a moment and review that last video again. The concepts of volts, amps and ohms are fundamental to the study of electronics - make sure you know what each one measures. Once you feel comfortable, you're ready for the day's final subject: the inner workings of the light emitting diode.

Chapter 6: Light Emitting Diode

Thank you very much. This concludes our class for the day. Additional learning material is available here. Review today's videos again at your leisure and we'll see you back here next weekend for "Switches, buttons, booby traps. Series and parallel, and voltage dividers."

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