Voltage Definition

Learn about voltage, the driving force behind electric circuits. Explore examples, case studies, statistics, and why voltage is crucial for electronics.


Voltage is a fundamental concept in the field of electricity and electronics. It is a measure of the electric potential difference between two points in a circuit. Understanding voltage is crucial for ensuring the proper functioning of electronic devices and systems.

What is Voltage?

Voltage, also known as electromotive force (EMF), is the driving force that pushes electric charges (electrons) through a circuit. It is measured in volts (V) and represents the potential energy difference between two points in a circuit.

Examples of Voltage

Imagine a battery connected to a light bulb. The voltage supplied by the battery causes current to flow through the light bulb, producing light. In this case, the voltage difference between the positive and negative terminals of the battery is what drives the flow of electrons.

  • Car Battery: A car battery typically has a voltage of 12 volts, which is used to power various electrical components in a vehicle.
  • Wall Outlet: The voltage supplied by a wall outlet in the United States is 120 volts, which is used to power household appliances.
  • Solar Panel: A solar panel generates voltage from sunlight, which can be used to charge batteries or power devices.

Case Studies

One notable case study involving voltage is the development of the electric telegraph by Samuel Morse. Morse’s telegraph system used electrical signals transmitted over long distances to communicate messages. The success of the telegraph relied on understanding how voltage could be used to carry information over wires.

Statistics on Voltage

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average residential electricity voltage in the United States is around 120 volts. This voltage level is considered safe for powering household appliances and electronics.


Voltage is a crucial concept in the world of electricity and electronics. By understanding how voltage works and how it can be controlled, engineers and technicians can design and maintain efficient electrical systems. Whether it’s powering a light bulb or charging a smartphone, voltage plays a vital role in our daily lives.

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