“The Art of Electronics” is a textbook written by Paul Horowitz, a Harvard educator on electronics and physics and Winfield Hill, the Director of Electronics Engineering Laboratory at Harvard University. This book has become one of the most popular of all texts on electronic engineering. It has been printed in two editions, in 1980 and 1989, with the second edition being reprinted multiple times. “The Art of Electronics” has sold over 100,000 copies since it’s initial release.
One of the major reasons for this success is the ease at which it reads. Like most good textbooks, the writing is simple, straight forward and easy for laymen to understand. Horowitz and Hill take great pains to make “The Art of Electronics” easy to understand. This helps make it useful for a wide range of electronic students, from beginner to advanced.
“The Art of Electronics” is also incredibly comprehensive. It starts by discussing basic DC voltage, currents and other basic electronic ideas. It slowly introduces new ideas that expand on these basics in a way that helps reader understand what they are reading. By the end of the textbook, more complex ideas such as oscillators, resistance, active filters, digital electronics, microprocessors and bus interfacing have been discussed. Other ideas such as high-speed design are also discussed in depth.
Each chapter in the book has a short “recap” at the end that reiterates the lessons of the chapter. This serves as a useful guide to readers of the book. They can see what they should have learned, test their knowledge of the information and go back and re-read if they are uncertain of any of the topics mentioned at the end. “The Art of Electronics” is designed to test and re-test your knowledge of electronics and your retention of this information.
Another major advantage of “The Art of Electronics” are the large amount of examples scattered throughout the book. These examples show good and bad circuits and how to create them. The bad circuit examples help show what to avoid when creating a circuit. Good circuit examples can serve as basic guides in the proper way to make good circuits.
“The Art of Electronics” also has a complementary text that comes with each copy. The “Student Manual for the Art of Electronics” was written by Thomas C. Hayes and Paul Horowitz. Essentially, it breaks down the “Art of Electronics” and discusses each of its chapters and its vital points. It features lab exercises and brief explanations of what is being studied in each exercise. It has been designed specifically to teach the idea of electronics to students, using the original text as an expansion on the ideas learned in the supplementary guide.
As of 2011, no third edition of “The Art of Electronics” has been published. However, they appear to be working on an expanded edition.