Difference Between Resistance and Reactance

The main key difference between resistance and reactance is that the resistance measures the opposition to a flow of current, whereas reactance measure the opposition to change in current. Here this article give the information about the main key difference between resistance and reactance to better understand the topic.

What is resistance?


The resistance of a component in a circuit is the potential difference across the component devices by the current through the component.

What is reactance?


Reactance is totally opposed to a change in current. Reactance is a property of capacitor or inductor because its functionality is intimate to the rates of changes of current and voltage.


The main key difference between resistance and reactance:


  • The resistor is associated with the real part of impedance, But in reactance contributes to the imaginary part of the impedance value.
  • Pure resistor generates resistance, while ideal inductors or capacitors give rise to resistance in the circuit.
  • Resistor depends upon the conductor's dimension, resistivity, and temperature, while the reactance depends upon the frequency of the alternating current.
  • Resistance is defined as the R, while the reactance is defined as the X.
  • Resistance is the property associated with the both AC and DC circuit, However, reactance to the property is only associated with AC circuits.
  • The resistance is the obstacle in the flow of current in an electrical circuit due to resistor, while reactance is the opposition to the charging current due to either inductor or capacitor.
  • In the resistive circuit, the overall supplied power to the circuit gets dissipated in the form of heat, Whereas in a capacitive or inductive circuit the device does not fully consume the total supplied power.
  • The difference in phase between voltage and current in a purely resistive circuit is 0 degree, while the phase difference between voltage and current in an ideal capacitive or inductive circuit is 90 degrees. In the case of inductive load, the current lags behind the voltage by 90 degrees and for purely capacitive load voltage pages the current by 90 degrees.
  • The resistance offered by the circuit depends on the dimension, resistivity, and temperature conditions of the conductor, while the reactance relies on the frequency component of the alternating current in the circuit. It shows the proportionality with frequency in case of inductive load, whereas this relation is inverse in case of capacitive load.
  • Power consumption due to resistance is real power and it is a product of voltage and current, While the power supplied to a reactive device is not fully consumed by the device due to lagging or leading current.

Explore more information:
  1. Difference between active and passive component 
  2. Difference  between resistor and inductor
  3. Difference between resistance and impedance
  4. Difference Between Potentiometer and Rheostat
  5. Difference between resistor and resistance 
  6. Difference between resistor and capacitor

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