Linear Circuits 1 - 26 - Inductors, Part 2

What is a time constant, and how is it calculated for a resistor-inductor circuit?
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How do I solve circuits with inductors?
How do I find the initial and final values for current in an inductor circuit?
What is a time constant?
How do I calculate the time constant for a resistor-inductor circuit?


  • High School or College Physics
  • Calculus 1 Would Be Extremely Helpful


Day 26 of Linear Circuits.  Inductors are one of the three passive circuit components (along with resistors and capacitors).  However, their operation and behavior is often shrouded in mystery.  After seeing what inductors are and how they work in our previous lecture, today, we will see how we can always find the initial and final values for resistor-inductor circuits' currents and voltages AND specify their entire behavior by just one variable -- the time constant, TAU.

The material covers all of the lecture material from an twenty-sixth lecture in a traditional, sophomore-level linear circuits class.

Who this course is for:

  • Beginner Engineering and Physics Students


2019 ASEE Engineering Professor of the Year
Mark Budnik
  • 4.7 Instructor Rating
  • 4,574 Reviews
  • 81,694 Students
  • 31 Courses

Mark Budnik is a 30+ year veteran of the electronics industry and academia.  He holds the position of Teaching Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University.  He has won numerous institution, regional, and national teaching awards including the 2019 American Society for Engineering Education Outstanding Teacher Medal and the 2015 Disney's Inspiring Brilliance Award.

Brandt Professor of Engineering, Valparaiso University
Mark M. Budnik
  • 4.7 Instructor Rating
  • 4,527 Reviews
  • 81,691 Students
  • 30 Courses

Mark M. Budnik is the Paul H. Brandt Professor of Engineering at Valparaiso University. He received his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois and his master of science and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University.

Prior to joining the faculty at Valparaiso University in 2006, Mark worked in the semiconductor industry, culminating as a Staff Engineer and the Director of White Goods and Motor Control at Hitachi Semiconductor. In these roles, he had a unique opportunity to work closely with a diverse customer base to identify and establish a number of best practices in embedded systems education.

In his career, he received multiple educational awards from academia and industry including ST Microelectronics, National Semiconductor, Hitachi Semiconductor, Valparaiso University, and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Most recently, Mark was an ASEE Section Outstanding Teacher of the Year and a finalist for the 2015 ASEE National Outstanding Teaching Award.

Mark is the author of more than fifty book chapters, journal articles, and conference proceedings and the recipient of five best paper/presentation awards. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a Fellow of the International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design.

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