BEAM From the Ground Up is a
Basics of passive components
Resistors, capacitors, and
batteries -- oh my!
A passive component is one that contributes no power gain
(amplification) to a circuit or system. It has no control
action and does not require any input other than a signal to
perform its function.
For our purposes, this means resistors,
limit, or resist electrical current
-- store charge (namely, electrons)
-- compact, chemical sources of voltage
-- turn an electrical current
on and off
Note that diodes are often treated as passive components
-- but I discuss them elsewhere,
along with other semiconductor-based
For more information...
I'm in the process of "beefing up" this
material; in the meantime, I've found two good web
sites that cover the basics -- John Adams'
Electronics, and Professor V's Basic
If you're looking for a good book, and you live
in North America, Radio Shack sells a book called
"Getting Started in Electronics" by Forrest M.