An inductor or a reactor is a passive electrical component that can store energy in a magnetic field created by the electric current passing through it. An inductor is one of the basic components used in electronics where current and voltage change with time, since the inductor is able to delay and reshape alternating currents. An inductor's ability to store magnetic energy is measured by its inductance, in units of henries.
A capacitor is a passive electronic component consisting of a pair of conductors separated by an insulator. When there is a potential difference (voltage) across the conductors, a static electric field develops in the dielectric that stores energy and produces a mechanical force between the conductors. An ideal capacitor is characterized by a single constant value, capacitance, measured in farads.
Inductors are used extensively in analog circuits, such as power supplies, transformers and signal processing as part of filter circuits and radio reception units. Common types of inductors include
- Air core coil
- Radio frequency inductors
- Ferromagnetic core coil
- Laminated core inductor
- Ferrite-core inductor
- Toroidal core coils
- Variable inductor
Capacitors are widely used in electronic circuits for blocking direct current while allowing alternating current to pass. In filter networks, capacitors can be used for smoothing the output of power supplies. in the resonant circuits, capacitors help tune radios to particular frequencies. Capacitors are widely used in circuits for energy storage, pulsed power and weapons, power conditioning, power factor correction, signal coupling and decoupling, noise filters, motor starters,signal processing, and sensing