# Reactance Question

Discussion in 'Electronics Homework Help' started by Pyaden, Feb 15, 2016.

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Feb 15, 2016
Why is it necessary to determine Xc from measured values of current and voltage as opposed to measuring it directly with a digital multi-meter? Our first week in capacitors, I know how to calculate reactance, I know that mulimeters apply some voltage to check resistance.

2. ### duke37

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Jan 9, 2011
Because the reactance is a function of frequency.

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Feb 15, 2016
I realize it is affected by a change in frequency, but it is still a resistance value..;is'nt it??

4. ### hevans1944Hop - AC8NS

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Jun 21, 2012
No it is NOT a resistance value. And for capacitors, your multimeter will indicate an open circuit (eventually) as the DC voltage supplied by the multimeter charges the capacitor. The multimeter may measure (probably will measure) a resistance for an inductor, but this is also NOT the reactance of the inductor, it is the ohmic resistance of the winding of the inductor. Also, reactance does not dissipate any power. Resistance always dissipates power.

Harald Kapp, Martaine2005 and davenn like this.

3
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Feb 15, 2016
That helps clear up the fog. I knew that the multimeter supplied voltage to check resistance but was a little usure how the capacitor reacted to the supplied voltage. Thanks very much...

davenn likes this.
6. ### Colin Mitchell

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Aug 31, 2014
It's a resistance value but it is called AN EFFECTIVE RESISTANCE VALUE because it changes according to the frequency of the signal.

7. ### Ratch

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Mar 10, 2013
Wrong, the resistance does not change with frequency. The impedance changes, but the resistance remains the same.

Ratch

8. ### dorke

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Jun 20, 2015
The units of reactance is indeed ohm units ,
like that of a pure(real) resistor.

But reactance is an "imaginary" resistance not a "real" one.
i.e. real and imaginary in the sense of the impedance plane.
Like so:

As mentioned before the X(reactance) values are dependent on frequency.
For a capacitor XC = 1/jwc= -J/wc ; |XC|=1/wc ohm
For an inductor XL = jwL ; |XL|=wL ohm

One very important thing to understand :
Reactance values are defined for the sinusoidal steady state activation of an inductor and capacitor from the general form of the relation between voltage and current through them.
iC=C*dv/dt
vL=-L*di/dt

same as for a resistor R=v/i
we have:
XL= vL/iL
XC=vC/iC

hevans1944 likes this.
9. ### hevans1944Hop - AC8NS

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Jun 21, 2012
No! It's only a "resistance" in the sense that reactance opposes (limits) the flow of current in AC circuits without undergoing any power dissipation. Real resistors also oppose (limit) the flow of current in AC or DC circuits, but in all instances real resistors dissipate real power in opposing the current: P = I²R. Reactance never dissipates any power because the current flowing through a reactance is always ninety degrees out of phase with the voltage across the reactance. This product of voltage and current is called VAR or Volts Amperes Reactive. When feeding power to real equipment, the current passes through real conductors that have resistance and those conductors DO dissipate power. This is why the VAR rating is important: you have to size the conductors to carry the maximum reactive OR resistive current, whichever is greater.

dorke likes this.
10. ### Ratch

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Mar 10, 2013
Reactance is not imaginary resistance (whatever that is) or any other kind of resistance. Reactance and resistance both inhibit current, but they do it by two different ways. Resistance inhibits current by converting the charge energy density into heat, thereby causing an energy loss, which results in less current. Reactance inhibits current by causing a reverse voltage, which reduces the applied voltage, causing less current to exist in a circuit, but causing no net energy loss.

Ratch

hevans1944 likes this.