What Does Inductance Mean?

Inductance, in electronics and electromagnetic concepts, is a property of current-carrying conductors whereby a change in current can result in generation of voltage (called electromotive force) in the conductor itself as well as a conductor placed in its vicinity. Inductance is linked with electromagnets and electromagnetism and it is described by Faraday’s law of inductance.


Techopedia Explains Inductance

The term inductance was first used by Oliver Heaviside in 1886, whereas the symbol for inductance (L) is in honor of Heinrich Lenz who devised many laws and principles of inductance. Inductance was first discovered by Faraday while studying charges in various experiments. However the name was later given to this phenomenon and Sir Joseph Henry independently discovered inductance, but after Faraday, and hence the SI unit to measure inductance is the Henry.

Two types of inductance exist, differing by the source of its production:

  • Self inductance — Caused in a conductor having changing current
  • Mutual inductance — Caused in a conductor placed near a current-carrying circuit

Both are ordinary inductances and differ only due to the circuit they are part of.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…