Analogue Electronics/Operational Amplifiers

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An operational amplifier ("op-amp") is a DC-coupled high-gain electronic voltage amplifier with a differential input and, usually, a single-ended output. An op-amp produces an output voltage that is typically hundreds or thousands of times larger than the voltage difference between its input terminals.

Operational amplifiers had their origins in analog computers where they were used to do mathematical operations in many linear, non-linear and frequency-dependent circuits.

Characteristics of a circuit using an op-amp are set by external components with little dependence on temperature changes or manufacturing variations in the op-amp itself, which makes op-amps popular building blocks for circuit design.