THE VOLT

What is a volt?

Technically (very technically), one volt is defined as the electrostatic difference between two points when one joule of energy is used to move one coulomb of charge from one point to the other. We already know that a coulomb is a lot of electrons flowing past any point in one second, but what is a joule?

A joule is a measurement of energy. It is the amount of energy that is being consumed when one watt of power works for one second. This is also known as a watt-second.

For our purposes, just accept the fact that one joule of energy is a very, very small amount of energy. For example, a typical 60-watt light bulb that is used in a desk or floor lamp is consuming about 60 joules of energy each second it is on.

In not quite such technical terms, a volt is the difference in the electrostatic charge that exists between two points. It is this imbalance in the electrostatic charge that causes electrons to flow from one point to the next.

 

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