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A first principles electronic structure based method is presented to determine the equivalent circuit representations of nanostructured physical systems at optical frequencies, via a mapping of the effective permittivity calculated for a lattice of physical nano-elements using density functional theory to that calculated for a lattice of impedances using circuit theory. Specifically, it is shown that silicon nanowires and carbon nanotubes can be represented as series combinations of inductance, capacitance and resistance. It is anticipated that the generality of this approach will allow for an alternate description of physical systems at optical frequencies, and in the realization of novel opto- and nanoelectronic devices, including negative refractive index materials.