Since active devices usually supply signal energy to an electronic circuit, and since energy can only be transformed and not created, a source of energy is needed when active devices are present. This energy is usually obtained from batteries or through rectification of sinusoidal voltages supplied by power companies. When inserted into an electronic circuit, such a source of energy fixes the quiescent operation of the circuit; that is, it allows the circuit to be biased to a given operating point with no signal applied, so that when a signal is present it will be processed properly. To be useful, an electronic circuit produces one or more outputs; often inputs are applied to produce the outputs. These inputs and outputs are called the signals and, consequently, generally differ from the bias quantities, though often it is hard to separate signal and bias variables. Biasing of electronic circuits is an important, non- trivial, and often overlooked aspect of their operation.
Often, though, they are used for other purposes, such as to route signals in logic circuits. Transistors can be considered the workhorses of modern electronic circuits, and consequently many types of transistors have been developed, among which the most widely used are the bipolar junction transistor (BJT), the junction field-effect transistor (JFET), and the metal oxide silicon field-effect transistor (MOSFET).
Block diagrams are widely used in all fields of engineering, management science, criminal justice, economics, and the physical sciences for the modeling and analysis of systems.
Electric circuit theory includes the study of all aspects of electric circuits, including analysis, design, and application. In electric circuit theory the fundamental quantities are the potential differences (voltages) in volts between various points, the electric currents in amperes flowing in the several paths, and the parameters in ohms or mhos which describe the passive elements. Other important circuit quantities such as power, energy, and time constants may be calculated from the fundamental variables. For a discussion of these parameters.