Concept

# Electrical impedance

Summary
In electrical engineering, impedance is the opposition to alternating current presented by the combined effect of resistance and reactance in a circuit. Quantitatively, the impedance of a two-terminal circuit element is the ratio of the complex representation of the sinusoidal voltage between its terminals, to the complex representation of the current flowing through it. In general, it depends upon the frequency of the sinusoidal voltage. Impedance extends the concept of resistance to alternating current (AC) circuits, and possesses both magnitude and phase, unlike resistance, which has only magnitude. Impedance can be represented as a complex number, with the same units as resistance, for which the SI unit is the ohm (Ω). Its symbol is usually Z, and it may be represented by writing its magnitude and phase in the polar form Z∠θ. However, Cartesian complex number representation is often more powerful for circuit analysis purposes. The notion of impedance is useful for performi
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