THE OPERATIONAL amplifier is one of the most versatile devices to be found in analogue electronics as may be seen from a casual perusal of any electronics cookbook. When cheap integrated circuits began to appear, the price of op amps (the customary abbreviation for the device) plummeted coincidentally with the increase in performance, so that a high-stability, chopper-stabilised op amp costing £100+ in 1979 may be obtained for less than £5 in 1998. The ideal op amp is easy to understand for it obeys only two golden rules.
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