Difference between Conduction and Induction

Key Difference – Conduction vs Induction

The key difference between conduction and induction is that, in conduction, energy is transferred by employing matter while, in induction, no medium or contact is required to transfer to energy.

What is Conduction?

Conduction is the process which transfer energy by either thermal or electric form. In thermal conduction, atoms in the medium vibrate and transfer heat, in other words, thermal energy. In thermal conduction, atoms in the medium actively transfer energy by vibrations. Thermal energy is flown from atom to atom as long as a temperature gradient is present. Most of the good thermal conductors are solids. Their closely packed structure helps solids to become efficient conductors. But it should be noted that all solids are not good heat conductors. Conduction is one of the ways to transfer heat; heat can be transferred through convection and radiation as well. Remember; we only heat up the outside, not the inside of a cooking pan. Anything delicious on the pan can be cooked because the heat is conducted from the flame to the food by conduction.

Charge carriers play an important role electric conduction. A potential difference which is bridged by a conductor is also required to implement conduction. Metals are usually good electric conductors since they have delocalized electrons that can flow and carry the current. Solutions such as acids have ions which are free to employ as charged carriers. Therefore, acidic solutions act as electric conductors. Pure water does not conduct electricity, but fresh water can conduct electricity since fresh water contains a small quantity of ions.Difference between Conduction and Induction

What is Induction?

The term induction is known as orientation in common usage. According to dictionaries, orientation is defined as the adjustment or alignment of oneself or one’s ideas to surroundings or circumstances. Obviously, two parties should participate in an orientation process. Similarly, in an induction process, one have to adjust its qualities according to the other.

In Physics, induction is split into electrostatic induction and electromagnetic induction. Electrostatic induction is the reformation of electrostatic charges of an object at the presence of external charges. Consider a neutral metallic sphere. If a charged rod is brought close to the sphere, neutral atoms will ionize and split into two parts. Then the like charges will repel each other and make the following charge geometry. No contact between the rod and the sphere is needed for this process. This splitting is purely a result of the electrostatic induction. The credit goes to Michael Faraday for discovering the electromagnetic induction. Electromagnetic induction occurs due to time-varying magnetic fields. An electromotive force can be generated across a conductor by varying the magnetic field around it. No contact is needed for this process. That electromotive force is solely generated by the electromagnetic induction.

Electrostatic precipitators actively employ the concept of electrostatic induction to remove particles from industrial soot. The transformer is incorporated as a major component, from power stations to home appliances, It is used to increase the voltage as well as decrease the voltage. Power stations usually have step-up transformers to increase the voltage and feed to the transmission line, then there may be several points in the transmission line to step-down the voltage to a safe level to consume by home appliances. The most important thing about the transformer is that it has no direct coupling between the input (primary) and output (secondary), but transfers energy from primary to secondary. Relatively new application of electromagnetic induction is the induction cooker. It’s a soot-free, handy kitchen appliance. Conduction vs Induction

What is the difference between Conduction and Induction?

Definition of Conduction and Induction

Conduction: Conduction is the process by which heat energy is transmitted through collisions between neighboring molecules.

Induction: Induction is  the process where electrical power is transferred from one object to another without the objects touching.

Characteristics of Conduction and Induction

Transfer of Energy

Conduction:  Conduction is a way to transfer energy by employing matter.

 Induction: Induction requires no medium or contact to transfer energy.


Conduction:  Conduction stops at the moment the conduction path is broken.

Induction: Induction stops whenever the parties recede each other infinitely.

Gradient Path

Conduction: Conduction is an end to end process. In order for conduction to occur, a potential difference or a temperature difference should be created.

Induction: Induction does not require a gradient path.


orientation. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved September 03, 2015, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/orientation
Image Courtesy:
“SF6 current transformer TGFM-110 Russia” by Vivan755 – Own work. (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons