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induction coil[in′dək·shən ‚kȯil]
A device for producing a high-voltage alternating current or high-voltage pulses from a low-voltage direct current. The largest modern use of the induction coil is in the ignition system of internal combustion engines, such as automobile engines. Devices of similar construction, known as vibrators, are used as rectifiers and synchronous inverters. See Ignition system
The illustration shows a typical circuit diagram for an induction coil. The primary coil, wound on the iron core, consists of only a few turns. The secondary coil, wound over the primary, consists of a large number of turns.
Induction coils of a different type are used in telephone circuits to step up the voltage from the transmitter and match the impedance of the line. The direct current in the circuit varies in magnitude at speech frequencies; therefore, no interrupter contacts are necessary. Still another type of induction coil, called a reactor, is really a one-winding transformer designed to produce a definite voltage drop for a given current. See Reactor (electricity)