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Glossary / Dictionary of Electronics Terms - N

n-type semiconductor - A semiconductor compound formed by doping an intrinsic semiconductor with a pentavalent element. An n-type material contains an excess of conduction band electrons.

negative - Terminal that has an excess of electrons.

negative charge - A charge that has more electrons than protons

negative feedback - A feedback signal 180 out of phase with an amplifier input signal. Used to increase amplifier stability, bandwidth and input impedance. Also reduces distortion.

negative ground - A system where the negative terminal of the source is connected to the system's metal chassis.

negative ion - An atom having a greater number of electrons in orbit than there are protons in the nucleus.

negative resistance - A resistance such that when the current through it increases the voltage drop across the resistance decreases.

negative temperature coefficient - A term used to describe a component whose resistance or capacitance decreases when temperature increases.

neon bulb - Glass envelope filled with neon gas which when ionized by an applied voltage will glow red.

network - Combination of interconnected components, circuits or systems.

neutral - A terminal, point or object with balanced charges. Neither positive or negative.

neutral atom - An atom in which the number of negative charges (electrons in orbit) is equal to the number of positive charges (protons in the nucleus).

neutral wire - The conductor of a polyphase circuit or a single-phase three wire circuit that is intended to have a ground potential. The potential difference between the neutral and each of the other conductors are approximately equal in magnitude and equally spaced in phase.

neutron - Subatomic particle in the nucleus of an atom and having no electrical charge.

nickel-cadmium cell - A secondary cell that uses a nickel oxide positive electrode and a cadmium negative electrode.

node - Junction or branch point in a circuit.

noise - Unwanted electromagnetic radiation within an electrical or mechanical system.

An operational amplifier circuit having no phase inversion between the input and output.

non-inverting input - The terminal on an operational amplifier that is identified by a plus sign.

non-linear scale - A scale in which the divisions are not equally spaced.

normal closed - Designation which states that the contacts of a switch or relay are closed or connected when at rest. When activated, the contacts open or separated.

normally open - Designation which states that the contacts of a switch or relay are normally open or not connected. When activated the contacts close or become connected.

north pole - Pole of a magnet out of which magnetic lines of force are assumed to originate.

Norton's theorem - Any network of voltage sources and resistors can be replace by a single current source in parallel with a single resistor.

notch filter - A filter which blocks a narrow band of frequencies and passes all frequencies above and below the band.

npn transistor - A bipolar junction transistor in which a p-type base element is sandwiched between an n-type emitter and an n-type collector.

nucleus - Core of an atom. The nucleus contains both positive (protons) and neutral (neutrons) subatomic particles.

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