insertion loss

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(n.) A drop in voltage or power, as measured in decibels, resulting from placing an attenuator pad between a power source and its load impedance. It is expressed as the ratio of the voltage absorbed in the load without the pad to that when the pad is inserted. For example, if the voltage across a load is 10 volts without a pad, and is reduced to 5 volts with the pad, the insertion loss may be expressed as 6 dB.