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The volt (symbol: V) is the SI derived unit of electric potential difference or electromotive force [1]. It is named in honor of the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta (1745–1827), who invented the voltaic pile, the first modern chemical battery.

Definition

One volt is the potential difference between two points measured in joules per coulomb (1 volt is one joule per coulomb). Hence, it is the base SI representation m2 · kg · s-3 · A-1, which can be equally represented as one joule of energy per coulomb of charge, J/C.

Josephson junction definition

Since 1990 the volt is maintained internationally for practical measurement using the Josephson effect, where a conventional value is used for the Josephson constant, fixed by the 18th General Conference on Weights and Measures as

K{J-90} = 0.4835979 GHz/µV.

Hydraulic analogy

In the hydraulic analogy sometimes used to explain electric circuits by comparing them to water-filled pipes, voltage is likened to water pressure - it determines how fast the electrons will travel through the circuit. Current (in amperes), in the same analogy, is a measure of the volume of water that flows past a given point, the rate of which is determined by the voltage, and the total output measured in watts. The equation that brings all three components together is: volts × amperes = watts

Common voltages

A multimeter can be used to measure the voltage between two points


Voltages in electrophysiology

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
  1. Rudolf F. Graf, "Volt", Dictionary of Electronics; Radio Shack, 1974-75. Fort Worth, Texas. ISBN B000AMFOZY
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