# Time Constant in RC electrical circuits

## Description

In physics and engineering, the time constant, usually denoted by the Greek letter (tau), is the parameter characterizing the response to a step input of a first-order, linear time-invariant (LTI) system.

In the time domain, the usual choice to explore the time response is through the step response to a step input, or the impulse response to a Dirac delta function input.In the frequency domain (for example, looking at the Fourier transform of the step response, or using an input that is a simple sinusoidal function of time) the time constant also determines the bandwidth of a first-order time-invariant system, that is, the frequency at which the output signal power drops to half the value it has at low frequencies.

The formula shown here is used for RC electrical circuits.

Related formulas## Variables

τ | time constant (sec) |

R | resistance (ohm) |

C | capacitance (farad) |