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Dictionary of Electrical Engineering

Commonly used terms in the Electrical industry.

reciprocity
(1) a consequence of Maxwell's equations, stipulating the phenomenon that the reaction of the sources of each of two different source distributions with the fields generated by the other are equal, provided the media involved have certain permeability and permittivity properties (reciprocal media). Referring to reciprocal circuits, reciprocity
states that the positions of an ideal voltage source (zero internal impedance) and an ideal ammeter (infinite internal impedance) can be interchanged without affecting their readings.

(2) in antenna theory, the principal that the receive and transmit patterns of an antenna are the same.

reciprocity in scattering law according to which the source and detector points can be exchanged, providing the source amplitude and phase are preserved.
reciprocity theorem
in a network consisting of linear, passive impedances, the ratio of the voltage introduced into any branch to the current in any other branch is equal in magnitude and phase to the ratio that results if the positions of the voltage and current are interchanged.