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In electrical and electronic systems, reactance is the opposition of a circuit element to a change of electric current or voltage, due to that element's inductance or capacitance. A built-up electric field resists the change of voltage on the element, while a magnetic field resists the change of current. The notion of reactance is similar to electrical resistance, but they differ in several respects.

Capacitance and inductance are inherent properties of an element, just like resistance. Reactive effects are not exhibited under constant direct current, but only when the conditions in the circuit change. Thus, the reactance differs with the rate of change?, and is a constant only for circuits under alternating current of constant frequency. In vector analysis of electric circuits, resistance is the real part of complex impedance, while reactance is the imaginary part. Both share the same SI unit, the ohm.

An ideal resistor has zero reactance, while ideal inductors and capacitors consist entirely of reactance. Wikipedia, Reactance (external link)

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Page last modified on Friday 23 of November, 2012 08:01:31 MST