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Engineering LibreTexts

9.1: Theory Overview

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  • Recall that for resistors, the voltage is always in phase with the current, for capacitors the voltage always lags the current by 90 degrees, and for inductors the voltage always leads the current by 90 degrees. Because each element has a unique phase response between +90 and -90 degrees, a parallel combination of R, L, and C components will yield a complex impedance with a phase angle between +90 and -90 degrees. Due to the phase response, Kirchhoff’s current law must be computed using vector (phasor) sums rather than simply relying on the magnitudes. Indeed, all computations of this nature, such as a current divider, must be computed using vectors.

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