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Inductance vs. Capacitance: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on December 28, 2023
Inductance is the property of a conductor to oppose changes in current flow, storing energy in a magnetic field, while capacitance is the ability of a system to store an electric charge, storing energy in an electric field.

Key Differences

Inductance, denoted by 'L', is a measure of how much a conductor opposes changes in current, creating a magnetic field. Capacitance, denoted by 'C', is the measure of a system's ability to store electrical charge, forming an electric field.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
Inductors, often coils of wire, are the physical manifestation of inductance. Capacitors, composed of two conductive plates separated by an insulator, represent capacitance.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
Inductance stores energy in a magnetic field when current flows through the conductor. Capacitance stores energy in an electric field created by a separation of charges across the plates.
Huma Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
In a circuit, inductance resists changes in current, causing a phase shift between voltage and current. Capacitance allows charge build-up, causing a phase shift between current and voltage.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023
Inductance is key in transformers, inductors, and electromagnets. Capacitance is crucial in capacitors, used in electronic circuits for filtering, energy storage, and timing applications.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Opposition to changes in current, storing energy in a magnetic field
Ability to store electrical charge, storing energy in an electric field
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Symbol

L
C
Huma Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Physical Form

Coils of wire (inductors)
Conductive plates separated by an insulator (capacitors)
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Energy Storage

Magnetic field
Electric field
Janet White
Dec 28, 2023

Circuit Behavior

Causes phase shift between voltage and current
Allows charge build-up, causing phase shift between current and voltage
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023
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Inductance and Capacitance Definitions

Inductance

The ability of a conductor to create a magnetic field.
The inductance of the coil increased as more turns were added.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Capacitance

Used in timing and filtering applications in circuits.
Capacitance is essential for the timing mechanism in the circuit.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Inductance

Storing energy in a magnetic field.
The inductor's inductance is key to its energy storage capacity.
Harlon Moss
Dec 09, 2023

Capacitance

The ability to store electrical charge.
The capacitor's capacitance was sufficient for the circuit.
Janet White
Dec 09, 2023

Inductance

Contributing to impedance in alternating current circuits.
Inductance was responsible for the circuit's impedance.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Capacitance

Storing energy in an electric field.
Capacitance is crucial for energy storage in the electric field.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Inductance

Playing a crucial role in transformers.
The transformer's efficiency depends on its inductance.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Capacitance

Relating voltage to stored charge.
The capacitance determined how much charge was stored at a given voltage.
Janet White
Dec 09, 2023

Inductance

Resisting changes in electrical current.
High inductance in the circuit prevented sudden changes in current.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Capacitance

Affecting impedance in alternating current circuits.
The circuit's capacitance altered its overall impedance.
Huma Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Inductance

The property of an electric circuit by which an electromotive force is induced in it as the result of a changing magnetic flux.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Capacitance

The property of a circuit element that permits it to store charge.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Inductance

A circuit element, typically a conducting coil, in which electromotive force is generated by electromagnetic induction.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Capacitance

The ratio of charge to potential on an electrically charged, isolated conductor.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Inductance

(physics) The property of an electric circuit by which a voltage is induced in it by a changing magnetic field.
The power cable itself has enough inductance to disrupt the digital signal of the video output cable, due to poor shielding.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Capacitance

The ratio of the electric charge transferred from one to the other of a pair of conductors to the resulting potential difference between them.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Inductance

The quantity of the resulting electromagnetic flux divided by the current that produces it, measured in henries (SI symbol: H.)
What is the inductance of that power supply's main inductor?
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Capacitance

The part of the circuit exhibiting capacitance.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Inductance

Capacity for induction; the coefficient of self-induction.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Capacitance

The property of an electric circuit or its element that permits it to store charge, defined as the ratio of stored charge to potential over that element or circuit (Q/V); SI unit: farad (F).
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Inductance

(physics) a property of an electric circuit by which an electromotive force is induced in it by a variation of current
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Capacitance

An element of an electrical circuit exhibiting capacitance.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Inductance

An electrical device that introduces inductance into a circuit
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Capacitance

An electrical phenomenon whereby an electric charge is stored.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Capacitance

A measure of the ability of a capacitor to store electrical charge; the ratio of the charge on one plate of a capacitor to the potential difference between the plates.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Capacitance

An electrical phenomenon whereby an electric charge is stored
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Capacitance

An electrical device characterized by its capacity to store an electric charge
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

FAQs

What is the unit of inductance?

The unit of inductance is the Henry (H).
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

What does capacitance measure?

Capacitance measures a system's ability to store electrical charge.
Huma Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

What does inductance measure?

Inductance measures a conductor's opposition to changes in current.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Where is inductance commonly used?

In transformers, inductors, and electromagnets.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

How is energy stored in capacitance?

Energy is stored in an electric field in capacitance.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

Where is capacitance commonly used?

In capacitors, for filtering, energy storage, and timing in circuits.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

Does inductance affect AC circuits?

Yes, inductance causes a phase shift in AC circuits.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

What happens to inductance when current changes rapidly?

Rapid current changes increase the magnetic field, affecting the inductance.
Janet White
Dec 28, 2023

How does capacitance respond to voltage changes?

Capacitance determines how much charge is stored for a given change in voltage.
Janet White
Dec 28, 2023

What is the unit of capacitance?

The unit of capacitance is the Farad (F).
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Can inductance and capacitance be used together?

Yes, they are often used together in electronic circuits for various functionalities.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

How is energy stored in inductance?

Energy is stored in a magnetic field in inductance.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

Do capacitors react differently to different frequencies?

Yes, capacitors behave differently across frequencies, affecting their ability to store charge.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

Can inductance be controlled?

Inductance can be controlled by altering the coil's properties, like the number of turns.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

Is it possible to adjust capacitance?

Capacitance can be adjusted by changing the properties of the capacitor, like the distance between plates.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

Does capacitance affect AC circuits?

Yes, capacitance allows charge build-up, affecting AC circuit behavior.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

Can inductance be found in everyday electronics?

Yes, inductance is present in many common electronic devices, like transformers in power supplies.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

Are inductors affected by frequency?

Yes, inductance values change with the frequency of the alternating current.
Janet White
Dec 28, 2023

Are there safety concerns with high inductance or capacitance?

Yes, high inductance and capacitance can pose safety risks, such as high voltage or current surges.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

Is capacitance a factor in everyday electronic devices?

Absolutely, capacitance is a critical component in most electronic devices, such as in tuning circuits and energy storage.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

Do inductance and capacitance have an impact on power consumption?

Yes, both can affect power consumption in a circuit, albeit in different ways.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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