Uses of the termEdit
The term is most frequently used as an abbreviation of 'electrical potential difference' (see below), which is almost synonymous with 'voltage', but it also occurs in many other branches of physics.
- In mechanics, the gravitational potential [] difference between two points on Earth is related to the energy that would be required to move a unit mass from one point to the other against the Earth's gravitational field []. Unit: joules per kilogram.
- In electrical engineering, the electrical potential difference ('voltage') between two points is related to the energy that would be required to move a unit of electrical charge from one point to the other against the electrostatic field that is present. Unit: joules per coulomb = volts.
- In fluid systems the potential difference is the difference in pressure. Unit: pascals.
- In thermal systems the potential difference is the difference in temperature. Unit: kelvins.
In engineering, potential is sometimes described as the across variable, whereas flux is the through variable. The product of the flux and the potential difference is the power, which is the time rate of change of energy.
See also Edit
- Extra high tension (EHT)
- Mains electricity (an article about domestic power supply voltages)
- List of countries with mains power plugs, voltages and frequencies
- High-voltage hazards
- SI electromagnetism units
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