What Is Electric Potential Difference? | Summary and Q&A

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December 6, 2019
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The Organic Chemistry Tutor
What Is Electric Potential Difference?

TL;DR

Electric potential difference, or voltage, is the difference in electric potential between two points in a circuit, and it determines the direction and magnitude of the electric current.

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Q: What is electric potential difference?

Electric potential difference, or voltage, is the difference in electric potential between two points in a circuit. It determines the magnitude of the electric current flowing through a circuit.

Q: How can we determine the direction of the current?

The current flows from a point with higher electric potential to a point with lower electric potential. By comparing the potentials of the two points, we can determine the direction of the current flow.

Q: How can Ohm's law be used to calculate current?

Ohm's law states that current (I) is equal to voltage (V) divided by resistance (R). By rearranging the formula, we can calculate the current by dividing the voltage by the resistance.

Q: Can you explain the analogy between water flow and electric current?

Similar to how water flows from a higher position to a lower position, electric current flows from a point with higher electric potential to a point with lower electric potential. Both flow in the direction of decreasing potential.

Summary & Key Takeaways

• Electric potential difference is the voltage between two points in a circuit and can be determined by subtracting the potentials at those points.

• Current flows from a point with higher electric potential to a point with lower electric potential, similar to how water flows from a higher to lower position.

• By using Ohm's law, the current flowing through a resistor can be calculated by dividing the voltage by the resistance.