The concept of complex impedance introduces a unified representation for resistors, capacitors, and inductors, whereby a circuit’s frequency response from input to output can be determined using KVL and KCL, where each element is assigned the appropriate impedance. The key assumption to this point is that the input to the circuit must consist solely of DC and/or sinusoidal signals. Now, this analysis is be extended to include arbitrary input signals by using the mathematical techniques of Laplace transforms.
In the hydrodynamic analogy of electronic circuits, resistors are equivalent to a pipe. As fluid flows through a pipe, frictional drag forces at the walls dissipate energy from the flow and thus reducing the pressure, or equivalently, the potential energy of the fluid in the pipe. A small resistor is equivalent to a large diameter pipe that will allow for a high flow rate, whereas a large resistor is equivalent to a small diameter pipe that greatly constricts the flow rate.
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