What Is Impedance? (with pictures) In electrical engineering, impedance is a measure of the extent to which a circuit opposes the flow of electricity.
All materials have some degree of electrical resistance, which causes some energy to be lost as heat, and reduces the flow of current. In the case of direct current (DC), impedance is the same as resistance, and depends solely upon the materials from which the circuit is made. For an alternating current (AC), however, two additional factors can contribute to the impedance: capacitance and inductance. Together these are known as reactance, which is a measure of opposition to a change in current that depends on its frequency, and on the components of the circuit.