Browse Definitions:
Definition

voltage

Contributor(s): David Lewis

Voltage, also called electromotive force, is a quantitative expression of the potential difference in charge between two points in an electrical field. 

The greater the voltage, the greater the flow of electrical current (that is, the quantity of charge carriers that pass a fixed point per unit of time) through a conducting or semiconducting medium for a given resistance to the flow. Voltage is symbolized by an uppercase italic letter V or E. The standard unit is the volt, symbolized by a non-italic uppercase letter V. One volt will drive one coulomb (6.24 x 1018) charge carriers, such as electrons, through a resistance of one ohm in one second.

Voltage can be direct or alternating. A direct voltage maintains the same polarity at all times. In an alternating voltage, the polarity reverses direction periodically. The number of complete cycles per second is the frequency, which is measured in hertz (one cycle per second), kilohertz, megahertz, gigahertz, or terahertz. An example of direct voltage is the potential difference between the terminals of an electrochemical cell. Alternating voltage exists between the terminals of a common utility outlet.

A voltage produces an electrostatic field, even if no charge carriers move (that is, no current flows). As the voltage increases between two points separated by a specific distance, the electrostatic field becomes more intense. As the separation increases between two points having a given voltage with respect to each other, the electrostatic flux density diminishes in the region between them.

Also see current, resistance, and Ohm's Law for DC Circuits.

This was last updated in May 2015

Continue Reading About voltage

Join the conversation

3 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

FINALLY...I've found the complete answer of my question
THANKS
Cancel
May I just say I find it absolutely ridiculous to define a term using such esoteric language. Basically, one assumes, to be able to understand this, one must already be a well trained electrician or engineer, which is ironic as voltage seems to be a very basic term in their field. So in order for to learn about it, one must already be it. If you wanted to attract more users to this site, you would define your terms in less technical language so one can actually learn something.
Cancel
I found this helpful, but it would be nice if it were contrasted with the other measurements of electicity, such as amperage and current.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • email spam

    Email spam, or junk email, is unsolicited bulk messages sent through email with commercial, fraudulent or malicious intent.

  • distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack

    A distributed denial-of-service attack occurs when an attack originates from multiple computers or devices, usually from multiple...

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of identifying applications that have been deemed safe for execution and restricting all...

SearchHealthIT

  • athenahealth Inc.

    Based in Watertown, Mass., athenahealth Inc. is a leading vendor of cloud-based EHRs for small to medium-sized physician ...

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare)

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is legislation passed in 2010 that changed how uninsured Americans enroll in and receive healthcare...

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule

    The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, establishes ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

SearchStorage

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an OS that allows a computer to compensate for physical memory shortages by ...

  • yottabyte (YB)

    A yottabyte is a measure of theoretical storage capacity and is 2 to the 80th power bytes, or, in decimal, approximately 1,000 ...

  • Kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, exa, zetta and all that

    Kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, exa, zetta are among the list of prefixes used to denote the quantity of something, such as a byte ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

  • NVDIMM (Non-Volatile Dual In-line Memory Module)

    An NVDIMM (non-volatile dual in-line memory module) is hybrid computer memory that retains data during a service outage.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close