1 Difference between Capacitor and Inductor | Similarities, Definition

Electrical and Electronics Engineering feature image

In this tutorial, we are learning about the capacitance and inductance with their different specifications.  We will also learn the differences and similarities between the two.

Definition of Capacitor and Inductor

What is the Capacitor?

The device that produces or possesses capacitance property is called as a Capacitor.

Sometimes the capacitor called a Condenser.

What is the Inductor?

The device that produces or possesses inductance property is called as an Inductor.

Sometimes the inductor called as Coil or Choke.

Let’s dive into the basic difference between Capacitance and Inductance in tabular format.

Difference between Capacitor and Inductor

Sr. No. Content Capacitance Inductance
01 Definition The property of the device that stores Electrical Energy in the form of electric charges is called as Capacitance. The property of the device that stores Magnetic Energy in the form of magnetic lines or fluxes is called as Inductance.
02 Signified Capacitance is denoted by the capital letter C. Inductance is denoted by the capital letter L.
03 Unit  The unit of the Capacitance is Farad (F). The unit for inductance is the Henry (H).
04 Working Role The capacitor is the circuit element in which the energy is stored in an Electrostatic form. The inductor is the circuit element in which the energy is stored in an Electromagnetic form.
05 Function of Voltage & Current

The main function of capacitance is to oppose the change in voltage.

The main function of inductance is to oppose the change in current.


Energy Stored

of  Capacitor & Inductor

The capacitor is capable of storing electrical energy in the form of Capacitance.The total energy stored in the capacitor can be calculated as –

W = ((1/2) * C* V²)
An inductor is capable of storing magnetic energy in the form of Inductance.The total energy stored in the inductor can be calculated as –

W = ((1/2) * L* I²)


Capacitors are classified into three different types – Ceramic, Tantalum, and Electrolytic. Inductors are classified into different types – Core, Coupled, Molded, etc.
08 Power Factor In a capacitive circuit, the power factor is said to be leading, if the current leads the voltage. In an Inductive circuit, the power factor is said to be lagging if the current lags behind the voltage.
09 Insulation (Insulating Materials) Insulation is provided over the conductor. Insulation does not provide over the conductor.
10  Application (Usage) The capacitor is used in electrical and electronic circuits or devices, power factor correction, etc. The inductor is used in domestic applications,  transmission and distribustion systems, analog circuits, and signal processing, etc.

11. Symbolic Representation of Capacitor and Inductor

  •  Capacitance / Capacitor Symbol:

The symbol of conductance is represented by the two conducting plates with inserting dielectric (Insulating) materials in between the two plates.

  •  Inductance / Inductor Symbol:

The symbol of inductance is represented by the winding (or turns) of the coil on the magnetic core.

Symbol of Inductance

12. Calculation of Capacitance and Inductance

Calculating the value capacitance and inductance by using basic formula-

  • Capacitance Calculator
Capacitance, C = ( Q / V )  Farad


Q- Charge particle (Unit- Coulomb)

V- Potential difference between the capacitor (Unit – Volt)


Capacitance, C = ( ε * A / d)   Farad

A- Area between the conductor (Unit- Meter²)

d- Difference between two conducting plates (Unit- Meter)

ε- Permittivity of an electrical field (Unit – Farad/Meter )

You can calculate the value of the capacitor by using online tools.

  • Inductance Calculator
Inductance, L = (∅ / MMF)    Henry


∅- Number of flux generating in the magnetic field (Unit – Weber)

MMF- Magneticmotive Force developed between the magnetic circuit. (Unit -Ampere-turn)

You can calculate the value of the inductor by using online tools.

Similarities between Capacitor and Inductor

Here is listing the similarity between capacitance and inductance.

  • The circuit elements of capacitance and inductance are used to store the generated energy.
  • These two circuit elements are used in alternating current (AC) circuits.
  • Capacitor and Inductor are passive elements. It means they don’t generate energy by themself. (You can read more about active and passive elements in the circuit.)
  • Both capacitors and inductors are used in the LC Filter or Π Filter circuit.

In this tutorial, I have covered distinguish points and similarities between capacitance and induction.

Related differences you should learn: 

This is all about the difference between Capacitor and Inductor. If you have any queries or doubts, ask me in the comment.

Thanks for Reading!

Test Your Skill | Quiz Time

dipslab mcq quiz

20 thoughts on “1 Difference between Capacitor and Inductor | Similarities, Definition”

  1. Differences :
    Inductor : stores in electromagnetic form energy, if arranged in series or parallel both of them have difference ways to calculate. The higher of frequency, the higher of its value and vice versa with the capacitor.
    The unit in Henry.

    Capacitor : stores in electric field energy.
    The unit in Farad.

    Similarities :
    Both of them are impedances in electric circuit.
    Both of them are calculated in Ohm.
    Both of them reduce its values each other.
    In RLC circuit, if L and C values are the same, then the impedance is only R value left.

  2. Both are temporary storage element where,
    Capacitor: stores energy in Electro-“static” form
    Inductor: stores energy in Electro- “magnetic” form.

  3. Almost key technical points are already mentioned above by experts.

    Ideal Capacitor works short circuit when fully discharged and open switch when fully charge.. while inductor behaves fully reverse.

  4. From phasor point of view in case of capacitor current lead the voltage by 90° but in case of indicator voltage lead the current by 90° .
    Capacitor is generally leading in nature and inductor is lagging in nature.


Leave a Comment