I've been reading about self-inductance in circuits in M. Purcell's Electricity and Magnetism and came across an interesting fact:
"What happens if we open the switch after the current $I0$ has been established, thus forcing the current to drop abruptly to zero? That would make the term $L dI/dt$ negatively infinite! The catastrophe can be more than mathematical. People have been killed opening switches in highly inductive circuits. What happens generally is that a very high induced voltage causes a spark or arc across the open switch contacts, so that the current continues after all."
What do they mean exactly by highly inductive circuits? If I have a small circuit with a coil as an inductor, a battery with 2.3V and some resistance R, and if I open the switch after a long time, will there be an electric arc? Or this applies only to circuits with really high voltages and currents?
I mean, the mathematical equations still apply here and $dI/dt$ will be very negative when the switch is opened.