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# 7-lecture6 - Cairo University Electronics and...

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Cairo University Electronics and Communications Engineering Technical English, Lecture 6: Technical writing Hossam A. H. Fahmy c 2007

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2 Numbers Numbers are important in technical documents. Be accurate. “The forward bias voltage of a diode is small .” (How small is small? Should it be the voltage across the diode?) “Digital disks are better than the analog ones.” (In what? By how much?) Compare the same dimensions. “The value of R is twice that of C.” Use a small space to separate groups of three digits in a number: 123 456 and not a comma 123 , 456. (Note the difference between 123 , 456 and 123 , 456. The latter is two numbers separated by a comma.) Insert a ‘0’ before the fractional point for numbers between -1 and 1: 0 . 53 not . 53.
3 Objects, properties, and values Watch out for the difference between a resistor and a resistance, a capacitor and a capacitance. A resistor is soldered, a resistance is measured, and the value of the resistance is 470 ohms.

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4 Additions Parallel work adds in one sense but not the other. Two students working together on a project for a week produce more work than another student working alone for the same week, but each gets a work experience of one week not two!
5 Zero and infinity In calculations, engineers often neglect some terms if they are much smaller than other terms. These are “zeros” while very large terms are “infinities”. Remember that in reality these are not the mathematical zero or infinity. In a lab measurement or in a simulation, you will never have a zero or infinity. If you report a result below or above the range of your measuring instrument, you may write “ v out is less than 0.2 mV” but do not say that it is zero.

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6 How do we write numbers?
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• Spring '09
• hossamfahmy
• High Voltage, forward bias voltage, Hossam A. H., ﬁrst letter, capital ﬁrst letter, Cairo University Electronics

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