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Hi. I was wondering about inductance. Is inductance always a constant? I ask because it seems like the changing magnetic flux through the inductor creates a changing electric field, which in turn changes the magnetic flux. This would produce non-constant inductances, right?


It actually depends on how the magnetic flux changes. If it changes at a constant rate, perhaps steadily increasing, then the produced electric field would be constant. Most magnetic flux does not change steadily. Most of it is oscillating. This does in turn create an oscillating electric field, which in turn creates an oscillating magnetic field, and so on. You will end up with electric and magnetic flux patterns that complement each other. They will reach a balance. Based on Maxwell's Equations, it is even possible to have non-zero sinusoidal electric and magnetic fields traveling through space without having any electric charge or current present. This is called light.

Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Physics Instructor
Illinois Central College

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