Pulse Waveform and the RC Response


Our analysis thus far has been limited to alternating waveforms that vary in a sinusoidal manner. This chapter will introduce the basic terminology associated with the pulse waveform and will examine the response of an R-C circuit to a square-wave input.
The importance of the pulse waveform to the electrical/electronics industry cannot be overstated. A vast array of instrumentation, communication systems, computers, radar systems, and so on, all employ pulse signals to control operation, transmit data, and display information in a variety of formats.
The response of the networks described thus far to a pulse signal is quite different from that obtained for sinusoidal signals. In fact, we will be returning to the dc chapter on capacitors (Chapter 9) to retrieve a few fundamental concepts and equations that will help us in the analysis to follow. The content of this chapter is quite introductory in nature, designed simply to provide the fundamentals that will be helpful when the pulse waveform is encountered in specific areas of application.