Op Amps, short for Operational Amplifiers, are semiconductor devices commonly used in analogue electronic circuits. They work by receiving an input signal and amplifying it into a stronger output signal. Op Amps offer a very high voltage gain.
Op Amps provide mathematical operations such as addition, multiplication, differentiation, and integration. They are voltage amplifiers which usually have a differential input and a single-ended output.
There are two inputs into an Operational Amplifier which are called inverting (-) and non-inverting (+) inputs. If you were to increase the voltage to the inverting input, the output voltage decreases. Alternatively, if you increase the voltage to the non-inverting input, the output voltage increases. If an equal voltage is supplied to both inputs, the output will not change.
Op Amps are often referred to as differential amplifiers. This is because the output of an Op-Amp is relative to the difference between the input voltages.
Operational amplifiers have a wide variety of uses in electronic circuits.