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.
Impedance essentially can be viewed as frequency-dependent resistance. While resistance of a circuit is the instantaneous ratio between voltage and current, impedance of a circuit is the ratio between voltage and current for steady-state sinusoidal signals, which can vary with of frequency. As the later parts of this section will show, the voltage and current caused by applying a steady-state sinusoidal signal to any combination of resistors, capacitors, and inductors, are related by a constant factor and a phase shift. Therefore, impedance can be expressed by a complex constant using an extended version Ohm’s law.
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