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Potential difference

Potential difference

When a circuit is connected and complete, charge can move through the circuit. Charge will not move unless there is something to make it move. Think of it as though charge is at rest and something has to push it along. This means that work needs to be done to make charge move. A force acts on the charges, doing work, to make them move. The force is provided by the battery in the circuit.

We call the moving charge "current" and we will talk about this later.

The amount of work done to move a unit charge from one point to another point in a circuit is called the potential difference between those two points. You can think of it as a difference in the potential energy of the unit charge due to its position in the circuit. The difference in potential energy, called potential difference, is equal to the amount of work done to move the unit charge between the two points. Just like with gravity, when you raise an object above the ground it has gravitational potential energy due to its position, the same goes for a charge in a circuit and electrical potential energy. Potential difference is measured between or across two points. We do not say potential difference through something.

Potential Difference

Electrical potential difference is the difference in electrical potential energy per unit charge between two points. The unit of potential difference is the volt named after the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta (1745–1827) (V). The potential difference of a battery is the voltage measured across it when current is flowing through it.

The unit of potential difference is the volt (V), which is the same as 1 joule per coulomb, the amount of work done per unit charge. Electrical potential difference is also called voltage.

Potential difference and emf

We use an instrument called a voltmeter to measure the potential difference between two points in a circuit. It must be connected across the two points, in parallel to that portion of the circuit as shown in the diagram below.

A voltmeter should be connected in parallel in a circuit.

Emf

When you use a voltmeter to measure the potential difference across (or between) the terminals of a battery, when no current is flowing through the battery, you are measuring the electromotive force (emf) of the battery. This is how much potential energy the battery has to make charges move through the circuit. It is a measure of how much chemical potential energy can be transferred to electrical energy in the battery. This driving potential energy is equal to the total potential energy drops in the circuit. This means that the voltage across the battery is equal to the sum of the voltages in the circuit.

emf
The emf (electromotive force) is the voltage measured across the terminals of a battery when no current is flowing through the battery.

You have now learnt that the emf is the voltage measured across the terminals of a battery when there is no current flowing through it and that the potential difference of a battery is the voltage measured across it when there is current flowing through it. So how do these two quantities compare with each other?

Questions & Answers

what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
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it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
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Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
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are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
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what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
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That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
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Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
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what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
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Cied
types of nano material
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I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
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Properties of longitudinal waves
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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 physical science [caps]. OpenStax CNX. Sep 30, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11305/1.7
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