acurrentcarrying conductor. Current flowing through the inductor creates a magnetic field which hasan associated electromotive field which opposes the applied voltage. This counter electromotiveforce (emf) is generated which opposes the change in voltage applied to the inductor and current inthe inductor resists the change but does rise. This is known as inductive reactance. It is opposite inphase to capacitive reactance. Inductance can be increased by looping the conductor into a coil whichcreates a larger magnetic field.
The energy (measured in joules, in SI) stored by an inductor is equal to the amount of work requiredto establish the current flowing through the inductor, and therefore the magnetic field. This is givenby:where
is inductance and
is the current flowing through the inductor.
As electrical current can be modeled by fluid flow, much like water through pipes; the inductor can bemodeled by the flywheel effect of a turbine rotated by the flow. As can be demonstrated intuitivelyand mathematically, this mimics the behavior of an electrical inductor; current is the integral of voltage, in cases of a sudden interruption of flow it will generate a high pressure across the blockage,etc. Magnetic interactions such astransformers, however, are not modeled.
In electric circuits
While a capacitor resists changes in voltage, an inductor resists changes in current. An ideal inductorwould offer no resistance to direct current, however, all real-worldinductorshave non-zero electricalresistance.In general, the relationship between the time-varying voltage
) across an inductor withinductance
and the time-varying current
) passing through it is described by the differentialequation:When a sinusoidal alternating current (AC) flows through an inductor, a sinusoidal alternating voltage(or electromotive force (emf) ) is induced. The amplitude of the emf is equal to the amplitude of the
current and to the frequency of the sinusoid by the following equation. The phase of the current lagsthat of the voltage by 90 degrees. In a capacitor the current leads voltage by 90 degrees. When theinductor is combined with a capacitor, in series or parallel, an LC circuit is formed with a specificresonant frequency:
where ω is the
of the sinusoid defined in terms of the frequency