How does one calculate the input impedance of a differential amplifier?

Since the input impedance of an op-amp is very high, the input impedance for V_{2} should be R_{2} + R_{g}. But what would be the input impedance for V_{1}?

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# Electronic – Calculate differential amplifier’s input impedance

diff-ampinput-impedanceoperational-amplifier

## Best Answer

Differentialinput impedance is the ratio between the change in voltagebetweenV1 and V2 to the change in current.When the op-amp working, the voltages at the inverting and non-inverting inputs are driven to be the same. The differential input impedance is thus R1 + R2.

If the op-amp was 'railed' (saturated) then the differential input impedance would be higher: R2 + Rg + R1 + Rf.

Here is a circuit that can be simulated, based on the above definition of differential input impedance (values picked to be different). The input current is 333.3uA = 1V/3K.

^{simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab}Edit: To summarize the discussion with Dave Tweed below in comments, there are three impedances we can calculate.

The differential input impedance is R1 + R2 as stated above.

The input impedance looking in from V2 is R2 + Rg.

The input impedance looking in from V1 is R1 (assuming the op-amp is functioning and not saturated). That is because the voltage at the inverting input is driven by the op-amp to be the same as the voltage on the non-inverting input, and it does not depend on the value of V1, only on V2.

The first two impedances have no voltage sources associated with them. The third one has a voltage with respect to ground of \$V2 Rg\over {Rg + R2}\$, so current will flow in or out of the V1 terminal depending on whether V1 is higher or lower than that value.