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8 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2022 Lately, we've heard quite a few design experts say, "PCB design is all about the phys- ics. Designers should focus more on under- standing the laws of physics and less on circuit theory." As feature sizes continue to shrink and we see more challenges popping up like thermal, it's no wonder that physics has become a hot topic in some corners of the design commu- nity. Aer a few conversations with designers and instructors, we knew we had a good topic. We wanted to address these questions: • How does physics work in PCB design? • How do the laws of physics fit in with circuit and transmission line theory? • What should design- ers understand about physics and how does it apply to PCB design? While putting this issue together, we investigated p o t e n t i a l c o v e r i d e a s . " W h a t i f w e h a d Ja m e s Maxwell and Gordon Moore boxing on the cover, in a Faraday cage match? Let's get ready to rumble!" at led us to the Rock 'Em Sock 'Em robots that now grace our cover. Of course, Maxwell and Mo o r e a r e n ' t r e a l l y o n opposite sides of the ring in the electronics discussion. ey're more like two sides of the same coin. Today's designers need to understand the laws of physics and electrical circuit theory, both individually and as they work together. e phrase, "It all goes back to the physics," implies that designers should return to the fun- damentals of electrical and electromagnetic theory, led by pioneers such as Maxwell, Georg Ohm, and Joseph Fourier. But I'm curious: How many physics classes have you taken? Did you major in physics? I know many designers with bios brimming with various types of engi- neering diplomas, but only a handful seem to have physics degrees. The Shaughnessy Report by Andy Shaughnessy, I-CONNECT007 It's All About the Physics—or Is It?

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