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Engineering LibreTexts

7.1: Theory Overview

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  • The current – voltage characteristic of an inductor is unlike that of typical resistors. While resistors show a constant resistance value over a wide range of frequencies, the equivalent ohmic value for an inductor, known as inductive reactance, is directly proportional to frequency. The inductive reactance may be computed via the formula:

    \[X_L j2 \pi fL \nonumber\]

    The magnitude of inductive reactance may be determined experimentally by feeding an inductor a known current, measuring the resulting voltage, and dividing the two, following Ohm’s law. This process may be repeated a across a range of frequencies in order to obtain a plot of inductive reactance versus frequency. An AC current source may be approximated by placing a large resistance in series with an AC voltage, the resistance being considerably larger than the maximum reactance expected.

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