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inductance, quantity that measures the electromagnetic induction of an electric circuit component; it is a property of the component itself rather than of the circuit as a whole. The self-inductance, L, of a circuit component determines the magnitude of the electromagnetic force (emf) induced in it as a result of a given rate of change of the current through the component. Similarly, the mutual inductance, M, of two components, one in each of two separate but closely located circuits, determines the emf that each may induce in the other for a given current change. Inductance is expressed in henrys [for Joseph Henry]. An inductor is a device designed to produce an inductance, e.g., a coil; an ideal inductor, i.e., one having no resistance or capacitance (see impedance), is often called an inductance.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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