An inductor, also called a coil or reactor, is a passive two-terminal electrical component which resists changes inelectric current passing through it. It consists of a conductor such as a wire, usually wound into a coil. When a current flows through it, energy is stored temporarily in a magnetic field in the coil. When the current flowing through an inductor changes, the time-varying magnetic field induces a voltage in the conductor, according to Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction, which opposes the change in current that created it.
An inductor is characterized by its inductance, the ratio of the voltage to the rate of change of current, which has units ofhenries (H). Inductors have values that typically range from 1 µH (10−6H) to 1 H. Many inductors have a magnetic coremade of iron or ferrite inside the coil, which serves to increase the magnetic field and thus the inductance. Along withcapacitors and resistors, inductors are one of the three passive linear circuit elements that make up electric circuits. Inductors are widely used in alternating current (AC) electronic equipment, particularly in radio equipment. They are used to block the flow of AC current while allowing DC to pass; inductors designed for this purpose are called chokes. They are also used in electronic filters to separate signals of different frequencies, and in combination with capacitors to make tuned circuits, used to tune radio and TV receivers.