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31.1: Mutual Inductance

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Mutual Inductance

31.1: Mutual Inductance

Inductance is the property of a device that tells us how effectively it induces an emf in another device. In other words, it is a physical quantity that expresses the effectiveness of a given device.

When two circuits carrying time-varying currents are close to one another, the magnetic flux through each circuit varies because of the changing current in the other circuit. Consequently, an emf is induced in each circuit by the changing current in the other. Therefore, this type of emf is called a mutually induced emf, and the phenomenon is known as mutual inductance (M).

The value of M neatly encapsulates the physical properties of circuit elements and allows us to separate the physical layout of the circuit from the dynamic quantities, such as the emf and the current.

A large mutual inductance value may or may not be desirable. We want a transformer to have a large mutual inductance. But an appliance, such as an electric clothes dryer, can induce a dangerous emf on its metal case if the mutual inductance between its coils and the case is large. One way to reduce mutual inductance is to counter-wind coils to cancel the magnetic field produced.

Suggested Reading


Keywords: Mutual Inductance Inductance Emf Time-varying Currents Magnetic Flux Mutually Induced Emf Transformer Appliance Metal Case Counter-wind Coils Magnetic Field

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