The impedance of an ideal resistor is purely real and is referred to as a resistive impedance:
In this case, the voltage and current waveforms are proportional and in phase.
Ideal inductors and capacitors have a purely imaginary reactive impedance:
the impedance of inductors increases as frequency increases;
the impedance of capacitors decreases as frequency increases;
In both cases, for an applied sinusoidal voltage, the resulting current is also sinusoidal, but in quadrature, 90 degrees out of phase with the voltage. However, the phases have opposite signs: in an inductor, the current is lagging; in a capacitor the current is leading.
Note the following identities for the imaginary unit and its reciprocal:
Thus the inductor and capacitor impedance equations can be rewritten in polar form:
The magnitude gives the change in voltage amplitude for a given current amplitude through the impedance, while the exponential factors give the phase relationship.
Read more about this topic: Electrical Impedance
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