The invention of inductors

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 The invention of inductors

The invention of inductors and the discovery of Lenz’s law [ Lenz’s law, in electromagnetism, statement that an induced electric current flows in a direction such that the current opposes the change that induced it. This law was deduced in 1834 by the Russian physicist Heinrich Friedrich Emil Lenz (1804–65)] allowed us to  expand our mechanical and electrical systems to perform automatic  physical movements that respond to sensors and transmitters. As we  learned last week, motors and generators are inductive components that  provide physical movement and energy generation. Inductors also provide  wave-shaping and filtering responses for transmitting and receiving  signals and can detect other magnetic objects in their flux field  allowing them to be used as sensors. Other applications include current  stabilization for lighting and induction heating used to produce  extremely high heat responses.

There are many misconceptions about inductors and their properties.  For instance, inductors cannot be infinitely smaller by increasing the  frequency in practical application, though the calculations show  differently. This is due to the winding resistance of the induction coil  being ignored in ideal calculations. Other myths include ideas that the  inductor rated current and saturation current are the same concept, and  that ferrite and metal composites inductor cores are equivalent in use.

Discussion Prompt: Discuss the following prompts

  • Research and discuss inductor-rated current and saturation current.
  • Research and discuss ferrite and metal composite induction cores and induction coil skin effect.
  1. Where can you find the rated current and saturation current for an inductor?
  2. What causes inductive winding resistance, and how can it be reduced?
  3. What is core loss, and how is it affected by frequency and core composition?


Berls, R., & Ruiz, M. J. (2018). Lenz’s law with aluminum foil and a lengthwise slit. Physics Education53(4), 045001.