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# What is potential difference?

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1. Hey Can someone please explain potential difference to me. I keep seeing defenitions like Potentiol difference is 'energy transferred per unit charge passed.' What exactly does per unit charge passed mean? Thanks This is for p2 exam Edexcel next Friday if you were wondering.
2. Gravitational potential is quite easy to understand, and you can analogously imagine the electrons on a "hill" of energy when they come out of the source. Then as they move along the circuit back round to the source they are "rolling down hill" and their potential energy is lesser, as while they move they are using up/transferring the energy. Potential difference is just that - the difference in potential between an electro starting it's journey and an electron that has arrived back at the source. per unit charge basically means that potential difference = (energy transferred/total charge). As you know electrons have charge and by dividing through we get a pertinent measure of the energy being transferred by them as they go along the circuit.
3. (Original post by sapphire79)
Hey Can someone please explain potential difference to me. I keep seeing defenitions like Potentiol difference is 'energy transferred per unit charge passed.' What exactly does per unit charge passed mean? Thanks This is for p2 exam Edexcel next Friday if you were wondering.
That definition stems from the equation for potential difference:

V = E / Q

Where V is voltage/potential difference (in Volts)
E is energy (in Joules)
And Q is charge (in Coulombs)

I think that if a question asking you to define pd comes up, you might be able to use the equation provided you say what the terms in the equation mean. I'm not sure though, since I use a different exam board so I'm not sure what your mark scheme will say for a question like that.

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