measurments and calculations


Reactance is the effect on an electrical current caused by a material's ability to store energy. Reactance is seen as a time delay between an applied electrical potential and current.

A material that stores energy readily has high reactance, and causes a large delay in the current. A material that stores energy poorly has low reactance and causes a small delay in the current.

For example, water poured onto the top of a sponge will flow out the bottom after a delay in time. A large sponge will cause a large delay in the flow of water out the bottom, while a small sponge would cause a small delay. Current flows in materials in much the same way. The delay in flow of current due to storage is the reactance. Units of reactance are called ohms.

In the human body, high reactance is associated with large amounts of body cell mass (intracellular mass). Low reactance is associated with smaller amounts of body cell mass.
Why is this the case?
Cell membranes consist of a layer of nonconductive lipophilic material interposed between two layers of conductive molecules. They behave like tiny capacitors - storing energy. Reactance in the body reflects the strength of this capacitance. Since intact cellular membranes are contained primarily within body cell mass, the reactance of the body is proportional to the amount of body cell mass.

How is reactance measured?
A small current is applied through the body. The potential required to generate the current is measured. The ratio of potential and current along with a process called correlation and integration is used to determine the reactance.
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