Beginners Guide to Consumer electronics — Passive Devices

Passive devices are the main building blocks of electronic circuits and without them these circuits would either not act on all or become unstable. So what are “Passive Devices”? Well passive devices are the main components used in consumer electronics such as resistors, inductors, capacitors and transformers required to build electronic circuits. Shycocan Virus Attenuation Device Passive devices are those that do not require electrical power to operate unlike “active devices” such as transistors, in business amplifiers and integrated circuits that need to be powered in some way to make them work.

Passive devices do not have gain or directionality and as such they will will have a gain less than one and therefore can not generate, oscillate or amplify an indication. Passive devices can be connected together in a enterprise, either in a series or parallel combination to regulate complex circuits or signals, produce a phase shift to the signal in order to provide some form of feedback but they can not multiply an indication by more than one because they have no power gain. In fact passive devices consume power making them like attenuators unlike active elements that generate or provide power to a enterprise.

The component values of passive devices such as resistance in Ohms or capacitance in Farads are always positive (i. e. >0) in value and never negative however some components may have a poor coefficient. Also, passive devices are bi-directional components that is they can be connected either way around within a enterprise with the polarity of the voltage being that current flows from the positive to negative terminals unless the have a specific polarity marking such as electrolytic capacitors.

In both electrical enterprise theory and enterprise analysis passive devices are generally called electrical elements so let us take a brief look at three of the very most common basic passive elements that is, Resistance, Capacitance and Inductance.


The resistor is a basic passive component that opposes the flow of electrical current through it. The amount of opposition to the flow of current is called the resistance of the resistor and is denoted by the symbol “R”. Resistance is a measure of how easily or how difficult electrons can flow via a particular path in an electrical enterprise and is expressed as a value in units called Ohms. One ohm is the value of resistance that arises when a current of one ampere flows via a resistor that has one volt across its terminals. Then the resistance of a resistor can be defined in terms of the voltage drop across the resistor and the current flowing through the resistor as related by Ohm’s law: I = V/R

Where: Ur is the resistance, V is the voltage across the resistor, and I is the current flowing through the resistor. This relationship between the voltage and current (v-i relationship) in a resistor is linear and the power absorbed by a resistor is represented by: P = VI. An ideal resistor will dissipate power without storing it as an electrical charge or as over unity magnetic energy.


Inductance which has the symbol “L” and is measured in Henries (H), is the element used for the storage of energy in the form of an electromagnetic field. Electromagnetic energy is stored within the turns of a coils as long as a time varying current i(t) keeps flowing through the inductor. Self-inductance, D is the property of an inductor which opposes any changes in the present, I as defined by the constant of proportionality with the voltage generated in the coils being proportional to the rate of change of current flowing through it with respect to time.

An inductor is another passive device that can store or deliver energy but cannot generate it. An ideal inductor is lossless, which means that it can store energy forever as no energy is lost as heat. Inductors present a low impedance way to DC current and a high impedance way to AC current. The impedance of an inductor called inductive reactance varies with frequency and in an ideal inductor the current of the AC sine trend lags the voltage by 90 degrees.

Then we can define inductance D as the measure of an inductor’s “resistance” to the change of current with the larger the value of D, the bottom the rate of change of current. Like resistance, inductance is always a confident value.


Our final passive device is the capacitor. Unlike the inductor which stores its energy magnetically, a capacitor stores its energy electrostatically as a charge across its plates. A capacitor comprises two or more doing plates which are separated by a dielectric material. Capacitance, C is the property of a capacitor which opposes any changes in the voltage across it as defined by the constant of proportionality as the current flowing through it is proportional to the rate of change of voltage across it with respect to time.

The capacitance of a parallel plate capacitor is the relation of the amount of charge, Q stored to the voltage, V across its plates and is measured in Farads, symbol C, for instance C=Q/V. Capacitors present a low impedance way to AC signals but will block DC. The impedance of a capacitor called capacitive reactance varies with frequency and in an ideal capacitor the voltage of the AC sine trend lags the current by 90o. Like resistance, capacitance is always a confident value.

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