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Usually by the time students get to Zeners, they have so
much experience with ordinary diodes that the potential
for confusion is negligible.
From the Car Talk book, I often quote the passage from the beginning ofthe chapter on automotive electrical circuits. Tom and Ray say that space is not the final frontier (as said in the opening of Star Trek episodes), they say electricity is the final frontier because people don't know diddly about it. That is sure true of the ordinary science student. Nine-plus out of ten students I work with have essentially zero knowledge and experience with electricity and electronics even though they use them every day all the time.