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Resistive? Inductive? or Capacitive? Quiz
October 1960 Popular Electronics

October 1960 Popular Electronics

October 1960 Popular Electronics Cover - RF CafeTable of Contents

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Popular Electronics, published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.

Here is a different type of quiz from Popular Electronics' master quiz-maker, Robert P. Balin. Rather than the typical format where you need to match a word or another picture with a picture, this one requires you to consider each description and decide whether it best describes an inductive, capacitive, or reactive circuit. I confess to messing up on question 20, because I couldn't remember whether a lagging power factor referred to voltage lagging current or current lagging voltage. Hint: It refers to current lagging voltage. Another hint: Remember the ELI the ICE man mnemonic.

Resistive? Inductive? or Capacitive? Quiz

Resistive? Inductive? or Capacitive? Quiz, October 1960 Popular Electronics - RF CafeBy Robert P. Balin

In all of electricity and electronics, there are only three basic properties: resistance, inductance, and capacitance. These properties, or combinations of them, can give us complete control over current, voltage, phase, and power in any electric circuit.

Since resistive, inductive, and capacitive circuits operate on entirely different principles, each type of circuit has a distinctive character of its own. But regardless of where or how these three basic properties are used, they retain their individual characteristics. From the descriptions of their behavior given below, can you identify the type of circuit referred to?

Fill in the blank with R if you think the circuit is resistive; L, if inductive; and C, if capacitive.


1)  Electrical energy can remain stored in this type of circuit even after the source of energy is removed  ___

2)  The current in this type of circuit is always in phase with the source of voltage  ___

3)  Arcing is likely to occur between the contacts when this circuit is opened  ___

4)  Electrical energy is stored in the magnetic fields found in this type of circuit  ___

5)  This circuit tries to keep its voltages constant  ___

6)  The flywheel effect is characteristic of this type of circuit  ___

7)  Electrostatic fields are used in this circuit  ___

8)  This type of circuit always has unity power factor  ___

9)  This circuit acts almost like a short circuit to a.c. voltages  ___

10)  Voltage across this circuit builds up to a high potential instantaneously when the circuit is opened  ___

11)  If the frequency of the source voltage for this circuit is increased, the current goes down  ___

12)  The current in this circuit leads the source voltage  ___

13)  This type of circuit can act almost like an open circuit at the instant that power is applied  ___

14)  No electrical energy is stored in this type of circuit at any time  ___

15)  Because of the surge currents in this circuit, its fuse may blow when power is applied  ___

16)  Conductor or component insulation may be damaged when power is removed from this circuit  ___

17)  This type of circuit tries to keep its current constant  ___

18)  Current never actually flows through this type of circuit  ___

19)  In this circuit the current remains the same regardless of changes in the frequency of the source voltage  ___

20)  This type of circuit has a lagging power factor  ___


See answers below.

Quizzes from vintage electronics magazines such as Popular Electronics, Electronics-World, QST, and Radio News were published over the years - some really simple and others not so simple. Robert P. Balin created most of the quizzes for Popular Electronics. This is a listing of all I have posted thus far.

RF Cafe Quizzes Vintage Electronics Magazine Quizzes














Answers to Circuit Quiz

1  C

2  R

3  L

4  L

5  C

6  L

7  C

8  R

9  C

10  L

11  L

12  C

13  L

14  R

15  C

16  L

17  L

18  C

19  R

20  L



Posted August 23, 2019
(updated from original post on 6/17/2014)

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RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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