# The simplest definition of VOLTAGE you can come up with

#### gubavac111

Joined May 18, 2019
4
I've measured it thousands of times, talked about it hundreds of times, but never reaaaaally understood it.

All those definitions seemed so complex, as if they are trying to make the voltage seem so mysterious.

So, after a little bit of thinking, I think the simplest definition of voltage I could come up with would be:

"Voltage is the difference in the amount of electrons between 2 (or more) points."

What do you think? First of all, am I mistaken? If I am, how so?

How would you explain voltage in the dumbest terms possible?

#### crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
24,724
Voltage is the difference in the amount of electrons between 2 (or more) points.
The difference in the amount of electrons depends upon the capacitance between the two points, so that's not a good definition.

ak's definition is about a simple as it gets.
The pressure is provided by an electric field in the voltage generating element.

#### Ian Rogers

Joined Dec 12, 2012
760

#### Jony130

Joined Feb 17, 2009
5,157

#### BR-549

Joined Sep 22, 2013
4,938
For the simplistic definition, and for working in electronics, the difference in charge count should work for you.

But down deep, voltage is not that simple. There are two kinds of voltage. And they are left handed voltage and right handed voltage. It's the handedness of charge that gives us the apparentcy of positive and negative voltages. That is positive and negative electric fields.

Also.....the right handed voltage field is much denser than the left handed field. You do not see this in electronics, because in electronics we only use one charge, the electron, for both the positive and negative field.

Did you understand that? In electronics...the surplus of electrons gives us a negative voltage. And a deficient number of electrons gives us a positive voltage. BUT, BUT, we are using the same density charge for both voltages.

IF....we ever used and moved positive charge.......our circuits would not work. The mass of an object is equal to it's charge field density. The proton(right handed field charge)......is about 2000 times heavier than an electron.

Another aspect about voltage that we never see in electronics.......is the fact that an electric field is always in rotation. And that all field rotations are at the same speed. But this is way down in the weeds, and does not effect electronics at this time. In the future it will.

#### ElectricSpidey

Joined Dec 2, 2017
1,068
The simplest definition of voltage I know is the one I learned while studying my basic electronics course, many years ago. (Bell & Howell)

Voltage:

The electric potential differential between any two points.

I have never really tried to make up my own definition of voltage, because any good basic course explains everything you need to know to understand the definition.

#### SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,035
Electromotive Force - the force electrons exert to move

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
20,884
Charge separation.

If you can move electrons from one place to another, you create a separation of positive and negative charges.
You have then created an electric force (also known as an electric field) that tries to pull the charges back together again.

The energy required to move a single electron through a potential of 1V is one electron-volt (or 1eV).
This is equivalent to 1.6×10−19 joules.

#### eetech00

Joined Jun 8, 2013
1,868
The energizing force that enables current to flow.

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#### BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
2,348
Charge separation.
How does that define the aternating voltage in an electromagnetic wave or the voltage induced in a wire by a changing magnetic fileld?

Voltage is a property of electric fields in space. Specfically, it is the energy required to move a unit of charge from one place to another. That is as simple a definition as you can get that is accurate and complete.

Bob

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
7,181
All of those fields have an origin. The source is the electric field from forces of charge separation that cause the propagation of electrical energy. Electric potential energy is the energy (measured in joules) that is needed to move a charge. The electric potential, or voltage, is the difference in potential energy per unit charge between two locations in an electric field.

#### Mellisa_K

Joined Apr 2, 2017
359
Great series of videos for the beginner!

Thanks Jony

#### Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
4,379
Voltage = electric pressure

Amperage = the flow of electricity

Resistance = the resistance of the flow of electricity - or resistance of the current.

Resistors resist the flow of amps. The voltage (pressure) pushes it through the resistor. The higher the pressure the higher the amperage through a given resistance. Since the value of a resistor (generally speaking) does not change; consider the following examples:

100 Ω = 100V @ 1A (where 100V ÷ 100Ω = 1A)
100Ω = 10V at 0.1A (where 10V ÷ 100Ω = 0.1A)
100Ω = 1V at 0.01A (where 1V ÷ 100Ω = 0.01A)

Notice that as the voltage changes so does the amperage. Change the amount of pressure in a balloon and the airflow through the nozzle changes. If you change the size of the nozzle (resistor or resistance) a smaller nozzle (higher resistance) the lower the current. All things must remain balanced. If you change the voltage you change the current. If you change the resistance you change the current. You can't change the current without changing either the voltage or the resistance.  you CAN change the voltage and resistance and still end up with the same amperage [end edit] Since your question revolves around the definition of "Voltage" it's simply the pressure applied to the circuit. I.E "Electric Pressure". (or as some call it "Electron Pressure" - both mean the same).

#### Mellisa_K

Joined Apr 2, 2017
359
Voltage = electric pressure

Amperage = the flow of electricity

Resistance = the resistance of the flow of electricity - or resistance of the current.

Resistors resist the flow of amps. The voltage (pressure) pushes it through the resistor. The higher the pressure the higher the amperage through a given resistance. Since the value of a resistor (generally speaking) does not change; consider the following examples:

100 Ω = 100V @ 1A (where 100V ÷ 100Ω = 1A)
100Ω = 10V at 0.1A (where 10V ÷ 100Ω = 0.1A)
100Ω = 1V at 0.01A (where 1V ÷ 100Ω = 0.01A)

Notice that as the voltage changes so does the amperage. Change the amount of pressure in a balloon and the airflow through the nozzle changes. If you change the size of the nozzle (resistor or resistance) a smaller nozzle (higher resistance) the lower the current. All things must remain balanced. If you change the voltage you change the current. If you change the resistance you change the current. You can't change the current without changing either the voltage or the resistance.  you CAN change the voltage and resistance and still end up with the same amperage [end edit] Since your question revolves around the definition of "Voltage" it's simply the pressure applied to the circuit. I.E "Electric Pressure". (or as some call it "Electron Pressure" - both mean the same).
Thanks Tony.

It's mind boggling that this humble relationship of ohms law could be responsible for human evolution...
8 million years ago when local stars go supernova... ionisation of the lower atmosphere produces free electrons and lightning current flows more easily. Tada -- hominid bipedalism https://dailygalaxy.com/2019/05/supernova-sapiens-earthly-infernos-8-million-years-ago-led-proto-humans-to-walk-upright/

#### SLK001

Joined Nov 29, 2011
1,543
Movement of charge.

#### Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
4,379
Movement of charge.
That would be current, not voltage. Static charge (non moving) is electric pressure. Lightning (static discharge) is current.

#### BobaMosfet

Joined Jul 1, 2009
1,063
Keep going, you're on to something bigger and more profound than you realize...

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#### Berzerker

Joined Jul 29, 2018
600
gubavac111 said:
How would you explain voltage in the dumbest terms possible?
Not advised but stick your finger in a wall socket and that will teach you REAL quick what it is. It is a invisible source of energy that will knock the piss out of you or kill if you if you don't respect it.

Brzrkr