time constant

noun

Definition of time constant

  1. 1 :  the time required for a current turned into a circuit under a steady electromotive force to reach to (e-1)/e or 0.632 of its final strength (where e is the base of natural logarithms); specifically :  the ratio of the inductance of a circuit in henries to its resistance in ohms

  2. 2 :  the relaxation time in the discharge of a capacitor that is equal to the product of the resistance in ohms of the discharging circuit and the capacity in farads of the condenser

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