About the Author - Voltage

Voltage, also known as electric pressure, electric tension, or (electric) potential difference, is the difference in electric potential between two points. In a static electric field, it corresponds to the work needed per unit of charge to move a positive test charge from the first point to the second point. In the International System of Units (SI), the derived unit for voltage is the volt (V). The voltage between points can be caused by the build-up of electric charge (e.g., a capacitor), and ...

Voltage, also known as electric pressure, electric tension, or (electric) potential difference, is the difference in electric potential between two points. In a static electric field, it corresponds to the work needed per unit of charge to move a positive test charge from the first point to the second point. In the International System of Units (SI), the derived unit for voltage is the volt (V). The voltage between points can be caused by the build-up of electric charge (e.g., a capacitor), and from an electromotive force (e.g., electromagnetic induction in a generator). On a macroscopic scale, a potential difference can be caused by electrochemical processes (e.g., cells and batteries), the pressure-induced piezoelectric effect, and the thermoelectric effect. Since it is the difference in electric potential, it is a physical scalar quantity. A voltmeter can be used to measure the voltage between two points in a system. Often a common reference potential such as the ground of the system is used as one of the points. A voltage can represent either a source of energy or the loss, dissipation, or storage of energy.

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