Questions relating to the construction and applications of operational amplifiers,
An operational amplifier is a DC-coupled high-gain electronic voltage amplifier with a differential input and, usually, a single-ended output.
An op-amp produces an output potential that is typically hundreds of thousands of times larger than the potential difference between its input terminals. Operational amplifiers had their origins in analog computers, where they were used to perform mathematical operations in many linear, non-linear, and frequency-dependent circuits.
The popularity of the op-amp as a building block in analog circuits is due to its versatility. By using negative feedback, the characteristics of an op-amp circuit, its gain, input and output impedance, bandwidth etc. are determined by external components and have little dependence on temperature coefficients or engineering tolerance in the op-amp itself.
(Excerpted from Wikipedia)