How does the total impedance change in a parallel RC circuit as frequency increases?

Capacitor impedance (Z_C):

Z_C = 1 / (jωC),

where j is the imaginary unit (√(-1)), ω is the angular frequency (2π times the frequency), and C is the capacitance in Farads.

Resistor impedance (Z_R):

Z_R = R.

In a parallel RC circuit, the total impedance (Z_total) is the reciprocal of the sum of the reciprocals of the individual impedances:

1 / Z_total = 1 / Z_R + 1 / Z_C.

To understand how Z_total changes with frequency, let's consider the behavior of the individual impedance components:

Capacitor impedance (Z_C):

At lower frequencies (close to 0 Hz), ω is small, and as a result, Z_C is very high (approaching infinity). In this low-frequency range, capacitors act as open circuits, and most of the current flows through the resistor.

Resistor impedance (Z_R):

The resistor impedance (Z_R = R) remains constant and does not change with frequency since it is not frequency-dependent.

As the frequency increases, ω gets larger, and Z_C becomes smaller (approaching 0 Ohms). At very high frequencies, capacitors act as short circuits, and most of the current flows through the capacitor.

So, in summary, as the frequency increases:

Capacitor impedance (Z_C) decreases.

Resistor impedance (Z_R) remains constant.

Therefore, the total impedance (Z_total) of the parallel RC circuit decreases as the frequency increases. At low frequencies, the total impedance is mainly determined by the resistor, while at high frequencies, it is mainly determined by the capacitor. The crossover frequency, where the two components have approximately equal impedance, is often of interest in practical applications and is given by ω = 1 / (RC).