Complex Impedances

  • Bryan H. SuitsEmail author
Part of the Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics book series (ULNP)


With the basic theorems in place for the simplest devices—ideal power sources, resistors and wires—some additional linear devices are now considered. In particular, capacitors, inductors, and time-dependent sources are introduced. In some cases, it will prove most convenient to describe voltage-current relationships using imaginary numbers. First, what constitutes a linear device is defined. Then it is shown how imaginary values might arise, why such values may be useful, and how they are used. Since, by definition, nothing measured is ever imaginary, it is important to understand how to interpret these imaginary values for real world results, as well as to know when they will not work.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics DepartmentMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA

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