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Glossary / Dictionary of Electronics Terms - B

balanced bridge - Condition that occurs when a bridge circuit is adjusted to produce a zero output.

band-pass filter - A tuned circuit designed to pass a band of frequencies between a lower cut-off frequency (f1) and a higher cut-off frequency (f2). Frequencies above and below the pass band are heavily attenuated.

band-stop filter - A tuned circuit designed to stop frequencies between a lower cut-off frequency (f1) and a higher cut-off frequency (f2) of the amplifier while passing all other frequencies.

bandwidth - Width of the band of frequencies between the half power points.

barrier potential - The natural difference of potential that exists across a forward biased pn junction.

base - The region that lies between the emitter and collector of a bipolar junction transistor (BJT).

base biasing - A method of biasing a BJT in which the bias voltage is supplied to the base by means of a resistor.

battery - A DC voltage source containing two or more cells that convert chemical energy to electrical energy.

baud - A unit of signaling speed equal to the number of signal events per second. Not necessarily the same as bits per second.

beta - (b) The ratio of collector current to base current in a bipolar junction transistor (BJT).

bias - A DC voltage applied to a device to control its operation.

binary - A number system having only two symbols, 0 and 1. A base 2 number system.

bipolar junction transistor - (BJT), A three terminal device in which emitter to collector current is controlled by base current.

bistable multivibrator - A multivibrator with two stable states. An external signal is required to change the output from one state to the other. Also called a latch.

bleeder current - A current drawn continuously from a source. Bleeder current is used to stabilize the output voltage of a source.

bode plot - A graph of gain versus frequency.

branch current - The portion of total current flowing in one path of a parallel circuit.

breakdown voltage - Voltage at which the breakdown of a dielectric or insulator occurs.

break over voltage - Minimum voltage required to cause a diac to break down and conduct.

bridge rectifier - A circuit using four diodes to provide full wave rectification. Converts an AC voltage to a pulsating DC voltage.

buffer - An amplifier used to isolate a load from a source.

bulk resistance - The natural resistance of a "P" type or "N" type semiconductor material.

Butterworth filter - A type of active filter characterized by a constant gain (flat response) across the mid-band of the circuit and a 20 dB per decade roll-off rate for each pole contained in the circuit.

BW - Abbreviation for bandwidth.

bypass capacitor - A capacitor used to provide an AC ground at some point in a circuit.

byte - Group of eight binary digits or bits.

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