# What is a Phasor? Explanation & Definition

• azolotor
In summary, a phasor is a rotating vector used to represent the phase differences of alternating current or voltages in order to make calculations easier. It can be manipulated like an ordinary vector and rotates to represent a sinewave.
azolotor
Could someone please give me an explanation of what we mean we say phasor please. We went over phasors in class today and I understood all the manipulations we were doing for superposition but my professor mentioned phasors and never said what they were. I have looked up several definitions but it isn't gelling for me. Thanks in advance!

azolotor said:
Could someone please give me an explanation of what we mean we say phasor please. We went over phasors in class today and I understood all the manipulations we were doing for superposition but my professor mentioned phasors and never said what they were. I have looked up several definitions but it isn't gelling for me. Thanks in advance!
Was he talking about Star Trek or electricity?

Phasors are vectors drawn in a circle to represent the phase differences of alternating current or voltages so that values can be calculated.

AM

azolotor said:
Could someone please give me an explanation of what we mean we say phasor please.
A phasor is a rotating vector. In 99.9% of your course of study you can neglect the fact that they rotate; just manipulate them like ordinary vectors. They rotate because a sinewave can be represented by the projection of a rotating vector onto a chosen axis.

Thanks so much! Much clearer now.

A Phasor is a mathematical representation of a sinusoidal wave. It is a complex number that has a magnitude and a phase angle. The magnitude of the phasor represents the amplitude of the wave, while the phase angle represents the phase shift of the wave compared to a reference point. Phasors are often used in electrical and electronic engineering to simplify the analysis of circuits and systems that involve sinusoidal signals. By converting the sinusoidal wave into a phasor, calculations involving addition, subtraction, and multiplication can be done more easily. This is because phasors follow the same rules as vectors in mathematics. In other words, phasors allow us to perform calculations on sinusoidal signals as if they were stationary vectors. This makes it easier to understand and manipulate complex circuits and systems that involve multiple sinusoidal signals. I hope this helps to clarify the concept of phasors for you.

## 1. What is a phasor?

A phasor is a mathematical representation of a sinusoidal function that describes the magnitude and phase of a sinusoidal wave. It is often used in electrical engineering, physics, and other fields to simplify the analysis of alternating current (AC) circuits.

## 2. How is a phasor different from a regular vector?

While both phasors and vectors represent magnitude and direction, phasors also include information about the phase of a sinusoidal wave. This makes them especially useful in analyzing AC circuits, where phase relationships are crucial.

## 3. What are the components of a phasor?

A phasor has two components: magnitude and phase. The magnitude represents the amplitude of the sinusoidal wave, while the phase represents the angle between the phasor and a reference axis.

## 4. How is a phasor used in circuit analysis?

Phasors are used in circuit analysis to simplify the calculations involved in analyzing AC circuits. By converting the time-domain signals into phasors, complex calculations involving trigonometric functions can be replaced with simple algebraic operations.

## 5. Can phasors be used for non-sinusoidal waves?

No, phasors are only applicable to sinusoidal waves. For non-sinusoidal waves, other mathematical techniques such as Fourier analysis may be used to represent the signals.

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