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The theoretical treatment of devices such as capacitors tends to assume they are ideal or "perfect" devices, contributing only capacitance to the circuit. However, all physical devices are constructed of materials with finite electrical resistance which means that physical components contain some resistance in addition to their other properties.
ESR is the real resistive component of the complex impedance Z(Ω) = R + j X(Ω) of the device. This complex impedance can involve several relatively minor capacitances. These small deviations from the ideal behavior of the device can become significant when it is operating under certain conditions, i.e. high frequency, high current, or temperature extremes.
ESR is often represented in the mathematical relationship:
ESR = DFXc = DF/2πfC (Formula 1)
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