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Difference between Inductive Reactance and Inductance

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  • Last Updated : 03 Jul, 2022

An inductor is a static two-terminal electrical component that stores energy in a magnetic field when electric current flows through it. It commonly comprises an insulated wire wound into a loop. It is additionally known as a coil, chokes, or reactor. According to Faraday’s law of induction, the time-varying magnetic field induces an electromotive force in the conductor, when the current flowing through the coil changes. The induced voltage has a polarity that opposes the change in current that created it, according to Lenz’s law. Inductors oppose any changes in current through them because of this.


What is Inductive Reactance (XL)?

It is this change in the magnetic field that induces one more electric current to flow within the similar wire, toward a path, for example, to oppose the flow of the current originally responsible for producing the magnetic field. In the context of an AC circuit, this magnetic field is constantly changing as a result of the current that oscillates back and forth. It is indicated by (XL) and assessed in ohms (Ω). 

Formulas for Inductive Reactance (XL)

Inductive reactance XL is proportional to the sinusoidal signal frequency f and the inductance L, which depends on the physical shape of the inductor.

XL = wL = 2πfL


  • w is the angular frequency,
  • XL is the inductive reactance (in ohms Ω),
  • f is the frequency (in Hz), and 
  • L is the inductance (in Henry H).

The Inductive Reactance in terms of voltage and current is defined as,



  • XL is the inductive reactance (in ohms Ω), 
  • V is the voltage (in Volts V), and 
  • I is the current (in Ampere A).

What is Inductance?

Inductance is the tendency of an electrical conductor to oppose a change in the electric current flowing through it. The flow of electric current creates a magnetic field around the conductor.
Inductance is defined as the ratio of the induced voltage to the rate of change of current causing it.

The flow of electric current creates a magnetic field around the conductor. The field strength depends on the current magnitude and follows any current changes. The factors that affect the Inductance are the number of wire turns in the curl, Curl Area, Center Material, and the Curl Length.

Inductance is categorized into two following types:

  • Self Inductance- Self-inductance is a particular form of electromagnetic induction. The event in which emf is produced in a single isolated loop due to flux change through the loop by means of changing the current through the same loop is called self-inductance. Its S.I. unit is Henry(H). It relies upon the cross-sectional area, material permeability, and the number of turns in the loop.
  • Mutual Inductance- The production of an electromotive force in a circuit by a change in the current in an adjacent circuit is linked to the first by the flux lines of a magnetic field and is called Mutual Induction. In this case, there are two loops A – The primary loop and B- The secondary loop. A battery and a key are related through a galvanometer are related across S. Exactly when there is a change of the current or alluring progress associated with the two loops, a contradictive electromotive power is conveyed across each loop, and this eccentricity is named Mutual Inductance.

Difference between Inductive Reactance and Inductance

Inductive reactance 


In an inductive alternating current circuit, the current is constantly changing, resulting in an EMF. This EMF’s effect is measured in ohms because it opposes the constant change in the flowing current. Inductive reactance is the resistance of inductance to the passage of an alternating current (XL).An inductor is any device that operates by using magnetism or magnetic fields. Inductors include motors, generators, transformers, and coils. When an inductor is used in a circuit, current and voltage can become out of phase and inefficient if not adjusted.
The frequency of the AC power running through the circuit affects the inductive reactance.It is not affected by frequency. It is the property of an element.
If frequency increases, inductive reactance will increases.It remains the same even though the frequency is increased.
Its unit is Ohms.Its unit is Henry.
The part of the reactance of an alternating current circuit is because of inductance.It is the property of a conductor that is estimated by the size of the electromotive force, or voltage, prompted in it, compared with the rate of the electric flow that delivers the voltage.

Sample Problems 

Problem 1: Find out the XL for an AC source of 200 V and 100 Hz by an inductor L equals 100 mπ?


According to the formula-

XL = wL

Substituting the given values:

XL = 100× 10-3 × 2π × 100

= 20000π × 10-3 

= 20π

Problem 2: An inductor offers an opposition of 200 Ω to an AC source of 200 V and 100 Hz. Figure out the value of the inductor?


According to the formula-

XL = wL

Substituting the given values:

200 = L × 2π × 100


L = 1/π

Problem 3: What are the applications of inductors?


Inductors are used in electric power and electronic devices. Inductor applications can be seen in Sensors, Filters, Chokes, Ferrite beads, Induction motors, Tuning circuits, Transformers, and so on.

Problem 4: Why inductance does not depend on current?


Self-inductance is proportional to the magnetic flux and conversely relative to the current. Notwithstanding, since the magnetic flux relies upon the current I, these impacts offset. This implies that the self-inductance doesn’t rely upon the current.

Problem 5: Is inductive reactance relative to inductance?


The inductive reactance is directly proportional to the inductance of the component and the frequency applied. By increasing either the inductance or applied frequency, the inductive reactance will increase and opposes the current in the circuit more.

Problem 6: Is resistance the same as inductance?


The resistor opposes the flow of current, while Inductor opposes the changes in current flowing through it. The resistor cannot store electrical energy, an inductor can store electrical energy in the form of a magnetic field.

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