This tool calculates a capacitor's reactance for a given capacitance value and signal frequency.

Inputs

 
 

Output

Overview

Our capacitive reactance calculator helps you determine the impedance of a capacitor if its capacitance value (C) and the frequency of the signal passing through it (f) are given. You can input the capacitance in farads, microfarads, nanofarads, or picofarads. For the frequency, the unit options are Hz, kHz, MHz, and GHz. 

Equation

 

$X_{C} = \frac{1}{\omega C} = \frac{1}{2 \pi fC}$

Where:

$X_{C}$ = capacitor reactance in ohms (Ω)

$\omega$ = angular frequency in rad/s = $2 \pi f$, where $f$ is the frequency in Hz

$C$ = capacitance in farads

Reactance (X) conveys a component's resistance to alternating current. Impedance (Z) conveys a component's resistance to both direct current and alternating current; it is expressed as a complex number, i.e., Z = R + jX. The impedance of an ideal resistor is equal to its resistance; in this case, the real part of the impedance is the resistance, and the imaginary part is zero. The impedance of an ideal capacitor is equal in magnitude to its reactance, but these two quantities are not identical. Reactance is expressed as an ordinary number with the unit ohms, whereas the impedance of a capacitor is the reactance multiplied by -j, i.e., Z = -jX. The -j term accounts for the 90-degree phase shift between voltage and current that occurs in a purely capacitive circuit.

The above equation gives you the reactance of a capacitor. To convert this to the impedance of a capacitor, simply use the formula Z = -jX. Reactance is a more straightforward value; it tells you how much resistance a capacitor will have at a certain frequency. Impedance, however, is needed for comprehensive AC circuit analysis.

As you can see from the above equation, a capacitor's reactance is inversely proportional to both frequency and capacitance: higher frequency and higher capacitance both lead to lower reactance. The inverse relationship between reactance and frequency explains why we use capacitors to block low-frequency components of a signal while allowing high-frequency components to pass.