The current through the resistance causes energy to be dissipated in the resistance in the form of heat and this energy can only emanate from the inductance. As time progresses therefore, the energy is gradually transferred from L to R, causing a diminution of the energy stored in the inductance and therefore also a diminution of current flowing in the circuit. The rate of transfer of energy to the resistance will therefore fall, but energy will continue to be transferred as long as there is a (current in the circuit or) an energy stored in the inductance until a steady state is reached. It may be noted that, initially energy transfer takes place at a very fast rate but as the current in the loop reduces, the rate of dissipation of energy also reduces. Theoretically, it will take infinite time for all the stored energy to be dissipated as heat but, in practice, we will not be able to detect any current in the circuit after a reasonable period of time. There is no source acting in the network during the transient interval and the behavior of the network during this interval is therefore governed by the elements R and L in the circuit. The response of the network thus can be referred to as a 'source-free response'. The source-free response in a network is also referred to as the 'natural response'.