Physics Tutorial 16.12 - RL Circuits

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There are 5 lessons in this physics tutorial covering RL Circuits. The tutorial starts with an introduction to RL Circuits and is then followed with a list of the separate lessons, the tutorial is designed to be read in order but you can skip to a specific lesson or return to recover a specific physics lesson as required to build your physics knowledge of RL Circuits. you can access all the lessons from this tutorial below.

In this Physics tutorial, you will learn:

  • What are RL circuits?
  • What do RL circuits have in common with RC circuits?
  • How does the current changes in RL circuits?
  • What happens to the voltages in each component of a RL circuit?
  • How to calculate the current flowing at any instant through a RL circuit?
  • What is the inductive time constant?
  • How to find the time in which the current in a RC circuit reaches a given faction of initial or maximum current?


What components can be connected to a circuit? Give the names of as much such components as you can. For each of them describe their purpose and the method of operation.

What is an inductor? What is its operating principle?

Is it possible to connect a resistor and a solenoid in the same circuit? If yes, why would such a combination be used?

Do you remember what RC circuits are? What are they used for?

This tutorial explains the RL circuits, which are very common in electric and especially in electronic setups. Everything about them, including the purpose, operating principle, relevant quantities involved etc., is described in the following paragraphs.

Please select a specific "RL Circuits" lesson from the table below, review the video tutorial, print the revision notes or use the practice question to improve your knowledge of this physics topic.

Magnetism Learning Material
Tutorial IDPhysics Tutorial TitleTutorialVideo
16.12RL Circuits
Lesson IDPhysics Lesson TitleLessonVideo
16.12.1What Are RL Circuits? An Overview
16.12.2A Short Recap on RC Circuits as a Useful Step to Understand the RL Circuits
16.12.3RL Circuits
16.12.4What is the Dimension of τ?
16.12.5What happens to the Current when the Source is removed from the Circuit

Whats next?

Enjoy the "RL Circuits" physics tutorial? People who liked the "RL Circuits" tutorial found the following resources useful:

  1. Physics tutorial Feedback. Helps other - Leave a rating for this tutorial (see below)
  2. Magnetism Revision Notes: RL Circuits. Print the notes so you can revise the key points covered in the physics tutorial for RL Circuits
  3. Magnetism Practice Questions: RL Circuits. Test and improve your knowledge of RL Circuits with example questins and answers
  4. Check your calculations for Magnetism questions with our excellent Magnetism calculators which contain full equations and calculations clearly displayed line by line. See the Magnetism Calculators by iCalculator™ below.
  5. Continuing learning magnetism - read our next physics tutorial: Energy Stored in a Magnetic Field. Energy Density of a Magnetic Field. Mutual Induction

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