Frequency Response

In our sinusoidal circuit analysis, we have learned how to find voltages and currents in a circuit with a constant frequency source. If we let the amplitude of the sinusoidal source remain constant and vary the frequency, we obtain the circuit’s frequency response. The frequency response may be regarded as a complete description of the sinusoidal steady-state behavior of a circuit as a function of frequency.
The frequency response of a circuit is the variation in its behavior with change in signal frequency.
The sinusoidal steady-state frequency responses of circuits are of significance in many applications, especially in communications and control systems. A specific application is in electric filters that block out or eliminate signals with unwanted frequencies and pass signals of the desired frequencies. Filters are used in radio, TV, and telephone systems to separate one broadcast frequency from another. We begin this chapter by considering the frequency response of simple circuits using their transfer functions. We then consider Bode plots, which are the industry-standard way of presenting frequency response. We also consider series and parallel resonant circuits and encounter important concepts such as resonance, quality factor, cutoff frequency, and bandwidth. We discuss different kinds of filters and network scaling. In the last section, we consider one practical application of resonant circuits and two applications of filters.
It is not always easy to get a quick plot of the magnitude and phase of the transfer function as we did above. A more systematic way of obtaining the frequency response is to use Bode plots. Before we begin to construct Bode plots, we should take care of two important issues: the use of logarithms and decibels in expressing gain.