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Complete Response of Second Order Circuits

Gutierrez, Marian Joice

Ateneo de Manila University
III BS Electronics and Communications Engineering
Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines

Abstract The aim of the experiment is to study the
complete response of second order circuits

The laboratory activity examines how does the complete
response of second order circuits behaves. A second order circuit
has two independent energy-storage elements: capacitor and
inductor. In this experiment, two capacitors were used. The
analysis of second order circuits yields to second order
differential equations.


A. Materials and Equipments

The electronic materials and equipment needed for
this laboratory activity are fundamental components of a
second order circuit. The materials needed are as follows: a 1
k resistor, two 2 k resistors, a 1F capacitor, a 0.125F
capacitor and a LM741 op-amp. The equipment needed is
function generator which represents the V
and oscilloscope.


After gathering all the required electronic materials
and equipment, the experiment is started by constructing the
circuit in fig. 1 having V
=318 Hz. The oscilloscope will be
used to show the input (V
) and output (V
) signals of the
circuit in channel 1 and channel 2 respectively. After this, the
value of V
will change to 2 kHz, as seen in fig. 2. Then, as
seen in fig. 3, square wave is used to show both sinusoids; and
now follows by fig. 4 and fig. 5, where the value of V
become 100 kHz and 200 kHz, respectively. The oscilloscope
will be used again to be able to show the input and output
signals of the circuit.


Solving a second order circuit is usually done
through the use of differential equations; however, it is tedious
and has the high risk of committing mistakes in the middle of
solution. In this experiment, the traditional method is still used
for the natural response; consequently, another method is used
in solving the theoretical complete response of the circuit: the
phasor form. It is mostly applicable if the given input voltage
is sinusoidal. Moreover, capacitors with capacitance C are
Maceren, Armond Royce R.
Ateneo de Manila University
III BS Electronics and Communications Engineering
Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines

converted to

as its phasor equivalent; and

inductors with inductance L are converted to as its phasor
equivalent. Last principle is Kirchhoffs Circuit Law (KCL).
It states that at any node (junction) in an electrical circuit, the
sum of the currents flowing into that node is equal to the sum
of currents flowing out of that node. [1]

The analysis of the natural response of the second
order circuit yields second order differential equation which
has the form:

. (1)

In finding natural response, set the forcing function f(t) to

. (2)

Substituting the general form of the solution Ae
yields the
characteristic equation:


Finding the roots through quadratic equation,

. (4)

The roots of the quadratic equation above may be real and
distinct, repeated or complex. Thus, the natural response to a
second order circuit has 3 possible forms:

a. Overdamped response- two real distinct roots


b. Critically damped response- one real root


b. Underdamped response- 2 complex roots

]. (7)


Solving the circuit in Fig. 1,

Fig. 1 Given Circuit

Since, there is no initial stored energy, the initial
conditions for the circuit is is:



Using nodal analysis at node v
and v
, we can solve for
the differential equation for v


Solving for the natural response, the equation in the left
side will equate to zero. Then, v
will transform to
characteristic equation. After finding the roots, the natural
response equation will be:

[ ]
In solving the forced response, it is easier to solve when
using the phasor equivalent circuit as shown in Fig. 2.

Fig. 2 Phasor equivalent circuit
Using nodal analysis,
KCL @ node v

) (



KCL @ node v

) (

) (14)
Substituting (14) in (13)



Solving for v


Total response:

[ ]

Using initial conditions, since v

(0)=0= A+
A= -
A= -2

[ ]

[ ]


Using equation (14), since v
= v


Substituting (19) to (18),

B = 6

Substituting the values of A and B to (17),

[ ]

Fig. 3 Vin and Vout at sine wave with 318 Hz

Fig. 4 Vin and Vout at sine wave with 2 kHz

Fig. 5 Vin and Vout at square wave with 2 kHz

Fig. 6 Vin and Vout at square wave with 100 kHz (revised)

In fig. 3, it is the graph of both input voltage:
5cos(2000t), and the sinusoidal output voltage; however, the
output was shifted upward; thus, it is harder to distinguish the
behavior of the output voltage from the input voltage. Channel
1s volts/div value is 5, while 2mV for the channel 2. These
settings are further set to fig. 4, and fig. 5. Fig. 6 is the
revision of the square wave, now set to AC coupled, and has
0.1 ms/div time division and 50 mV/div. Fig. 7 possessed 100

kHz frequency in the signals, and doubled for the fig. 8. From
these figures, it can be seen that the output signals becomes
smaller as the input signal increases. As the frequency
increases, more noise can be observed in the graphs of both
input and output signals.

Fig. 7 Vin and Vout at square wave with 100 kHz

Fig. 8 Vin and Vout at square wave with 200 kHz
From the constructed circuit, consisting of two capacitors
and an op-amp, the variation of input signal was determined as
well as a change from sine wave to square wave and varying
It is easier to use the phasor equivalent circuit to find the
forced response of the circuit when the input signal is
It can be concluded, from the experiment, that as the
frequency increases, the output signal becomes smaller and


[1] "Second Order Circuits." Eastern Mediterranean University Open
Courseware. N.p.. Web. 30 Jun 2013.