What is the voltage?

We explain what is the voltage and the types of voltage that exist. Also, what does Ohm’s Law consist of and how is this magnitude measured?

  1. What is the voltage?

It is known as voltage, difference of electrical potential or electrical voltages to the magnitude that accounts for the difference in the electrical potential between two determined points or, also, is understood as the work per unit of electric charge that a field exerts on a particle electric , to move it between two specific points.

When two points that have an electrical potential difference are connected with a conductive material, an electron flow will take place, which will carry part of the charge from the point of greatest to the least potential.

This difference is the voltages, and said current will cease as soon as both points have the same potential, unless new energy is injected through a generator or an external source of some kind.

Thus, when talking about the single-point voltages, it is referred to in comparison with any other body with which it comes into contact and whose potential is assumed equal to zero.

To understand the voltages, a hydraulic metaphor is often used, that is, with water . Imagine a circular path of pipes, through which water circulates (equivalent in this case to the flow of electrons).

The wide pipes will be conductive materials, the narrow ones will be insulating or resistance. This route will be mobilized by a hydraulic pump (which for the example is equivalent to the voltage source) pushing the water based on a pressure difference from another point in the pipe. This pressure difference is precisely equivalent to the electrical voltage.

Thus, in conclusion, a circuit equipped with high voltage will have a greater capacity for work (water moves with greater force, in the previous example) and therefore will be more powerful or even more dangerous.

  1. Voltage types

The frequency of the alternating voltage will depend on the country or the specific region.

There are the following types of voltage:

  • Induced voltage . This is the name of the force necessary to generate electrical energy within a circuit; in an open circuit said force can maintain the electrical tension exerted between two points.
  • Alternating voltage . It is represented by the letters VA, and with positive and negative values ​​on a Cartesian axis, since it is considered a sine wave. It is the most usual voltage in the power outlets, and its frequency will depend on the country or the specific region.
  • Direct voltage . Also called direct current voltage (VCD), it is usual in motors and batteries , and is obtained from the transformation of alternating current by means of fuses and transformers.
  • Voltage  cont Nuo . Also called direct current voltage (VDC), it is the purest current there is, present in chips, microprocessors and other devices that require very accurate voltages. It is usually obtained after treatment with electrolytic capacitors.
  1. Ohm’s law

Postulated by the German physicist Georg Simon Ohm, he dictates that the potential difference (V) applied between the ends of a specific conductor will be proportional to the amount of current (I) that circulates through the conductor, depending on its resistance factor. This was embodied in the following formula:

V =  R  .  I , where V is the voltage, I is the current and R is the resistance of the material.

Hence, having two of these variables, it is possible to calculate the third easily.

  1. How is the voltages measured?

The electrical voltage is measured in volts.

To measure the voltages a voltmeter is used , which is installed parallel to the power source to measure and quantify the electrical potential. Another device used is the  tester  or multimeter, or also a potentiometer.

In any case, the voltages is calculated taking into account the total energy that is necessary to mobilize a small electric charge from the beginning to the end of the circuit, divided by the magnitude of said load.

According to the International System (SI), the electrical voltages is measured in volts (hence the term  voltage ), represented by the letter V, in honor of Alejandro Volta, creator of the voltaic battery in the 17th century. Other useful units of measurement can be joules (J) or coulombs (C).

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