Landes, Hugh S. Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Last reviewed:August 2020
- Examples of reciprocal systems
- Rayleigh's theorem of reciprocity
- Electromagnetic systems
- Electrostatic systems
- Electrical networks
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
In the scientific sense, a theory that expresses various reciprocal relations for the behavior of some physical systems. Reciprocity applies to a physical system whose input and output can be interchanged without altering the response of the system to a given excitation. Optical, acoustical, electrical, and mechanical devices that operate equally well in either direction are reciprocal systems, whereas unidirectional devices violate reciprocity. The theory of reciprocity facilitates the evaluation of the performance of a physical system. If a system must operate equally well in two directions, there is no need to consider any nonreciprocal components when designing it.
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