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Admittance (symbolized Y ) is an expression of the ease with which alternating current ( AC ) flows through a complex circuit or system. Admittance is a vector quantity comprised of two independent scalar phenomena: conductance and susceptance .

Conductance, denoted G , is a measure of the ease with which charge carriers can pass through a component or substance. The more easily the charge carriers move in response to a given applied electric potential, the higher the conductance, which is expressed in positive real-number siemens . Conductance is observed with AC and also with direct current ( DC ).

Susceptance, denoted B , is an expression of the readiness with which an electronic component, circuit, or system releases stored energy as the current and voltage fluctuate. Susceptance is expressed in imaginary number siemens. It is observed for AC, but not for DC. When AC passes through a component that contains susceptance, energy might be stored and released in the form of a magnetic field, in which case the susceptance is inductive (denoted - jB L ), or energy might be stored and released in the form of an electric field, in which case the susceptance is capacitive (denoted + jB C ).

Admittance is the vector sum of conductance and susceptance. Susceptance is conventionally multiplied by the positive square root of -1, the unit imaginary number called symbolized by j , to express Y as a complex quantity G - jB L (when the net susceptance is inductive) or G + jB C (when the net susceptance is capacitive).

In parallel circuits, conductance and susceptance add together independently to yield the composite admittance. In series circuits, conductance and susceptance combine in a more complicated manner. In these situations, it is easier to convert conductance to resistance, susceptance to reactance, and then calculate the composite impedance.

Also see conductance , reactance , resistance , impedance , ohm , siemens , henry , and farad .

This was last updated in March 2011

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