10 Differences Between capacitor and inductor

Difference Between Capacitor and Inductor

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What is a Capacitor?

A capacitor is an electronic component that stores and releases electrical energy. It is made up of two conductive plates separated by an insulating material called a dielectric. When a voltage is applied to the capacitor, it charges up, storing energy, and when the voltage is removed, it discharges, releasing the stored energy.

Examples of Capacitors

Some examples of capacitors include:

  • Electrolytic capacitors
  • Ceramic capacitors
  • Film capacitors

Uses of Capacitors

Capacitors have a wide range of applications in various electronic circuits. Some common uses of capacitors include:

  • Filtering and smoothing power supply voltages
  • Storing and releasing energy in flash units for cameras
  • Timing circuits in oscillators and clocks

What is an Inductor?

An inductor is an electronic component that stores and releases magnetic energy. It is typically made up of a coil of wire wound around a magnetic core. When current flows through the coil, a magnetic field is generated, and when the current is turned off, the magnetic field collapses, releasing the stored energy.

Examples of Inductors

Some examples of inductors include:

  • Air core inductors
  • Ferrite core inductors
  • Toroidal inductors

Uses of Inductors

Inductors are commonly used in electronic circuits for various purposes. Some common uses of inductors include:

  • Filtering and smoothing alternating current (AC) signals
  • Energy storage in power supplies
  • Tuning and filtering radio frequency (RF) signals

Differences Between Capacitor and Inductor

Difference Area Capacitor Inductor
Storage Type Stores electrical energy Stores magnetic energy
Working Principle Charges and discharges Generates and collapses magnetic field
Symbol Usually represented as two parallel lines Usually represented as a coil
Reactance in AC Circuits Impedance decreases with increasing frequency Impedance increases with increasing frequency
Energy Storage Stores energy in an electric field Stores energy in a magnetic field
Phase Shift Capacitor leads voltage Inductor lags voltage
Current Response No immediate response to sudden changes in voltage Induces a voltage to resist sudden changes in current
Frequency Dependency Capacitive reactance depends on frequency Inductive reactance depends on frequency
Stored Energy Calculation E = 0.5 * C * V² E = 0.5 * L * I²
Applications Used in timing circuits, filters, energy storage Used in power supplies, filters, energy storage


In summary, capacitors and inductors are both passive electronic components that store and release energy but in different forms. Capacitors store energy in an electric field, while inductors store energy in a magnetic field. They have different symbols, working principles, reactance characteristics, and applications.

People Also Ask

Q: What is the main difference between a capacitor and an inductor?

A: The main difference between a capacitor and an inductor is the type of energy they store. A capacitor stores electrical energy, while an inductor stores magnetic energy.

Q: How are capacitors and inductors represented in circuit diagrams?

A: Capacitors are usually represented as two parallel lines, while inductors are usually represented as a coil.

Q: What are the uses of capacitors?

A: Capacitors have various uses in electronic circuits, including timing circuits, filters, and energy storage.

Q: What are the uses of inductors?

A: Inductors are commonly used in power supplies, filters, and tuning and filtering RF signals.

Q: How do capacitors and inductors respond to changes in voltage or current?

A: Capacitors do not respond immediately to sudden changes in voltage, while inductors induce a voltage to resist sudden changes in current.

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