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Figure 3-13.Inverting configuration

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3-19 Figure 3-13.—Inverting configuration. At this point it is important to keep in mind the difference between the entire circuit (or operational circuit) and the operational amplifier. The operational amplifier is represented by the triangle-like symbol while the operational circuit includes the resistors and any other components as well as the operational amplifier. In other words, the input to the circuit is shown in figure 3-13, but the signal at the inverting input of the operational amplifier is determined by the feedback signal as well as by the circuit input signal. As you can see in figure 3-13, the output signal is 180 degrees out of phase with the input signal. The feedback signal is a portion of the output signal and, therefore, also 180 degrees out of phase with the input signal. Whenever the input signal goes positive, the output signal and the feedback signal go negative. The result of this is that the inverting input to the operational amplifier is always very close to 0 volts with this configuration. In fact, with the noninverting input grounded, the voltage at the inverting input to the operational amplifier is so small compared to other voltages in the circuit that it is considered to be VIRTUAL GROUND. (Remember, in a closed-loop operation the inverting and noninverting inputs are at the same potential.) Virtual ground is a point in a circuit which is at ground potential (0 volts) but is NOT connected to ground. Figure 3-14, (view A) (view B) and (view C), shows an example of several circuits with points at virtual ground. Figure 3-14A.—Virtual ground circuits.


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