# What is the physical mechanism of power transfer in the primary of an ideal transformer?

In an ideal transformer, the mutual induction caused by the secondary load current in the primary coil generates an additional current that has a non-zero power factor with the main AC voltage source. That's the mathematical explanation of the power transfer from the main AC source to the primary and then to the secondary load resistance. But what is the physical intuitive explanation?

For example If I replace the AC voltage source with a capacitor to make the primary an LC oscillatory circuit, even if the power factor be still there, how is energy being lost to the secondary without a resistance in the primary?

• The power factor has nothing to do with the workings of a transformer. Power in electric circuits is always transferred by the electromagnetic field and it is being described by the Poynting vector (named after Mr. John Henry Poynting): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poynting_vector. There are several papers that analyze the geometry of transformers using this concept, e.g. "The Poynting vector field and the energy flow within a transformer", F. Herrmann and G. Bruno Schmid. – CuriousOne Apr 12 '16 at 19:31