What Is The Potential Difference Between The Terminals Of The Battery?

Key Points:

  • Electric potential difference is the result of different polarities of two terminals of the batteries.
  • One terminal consists of excess electrons and another lack electron. This creates a potential difference between them.

A battery is a simple structure of a basic cell. It stores energy chemically and has two terminals. The two terminals have a potential difference to make the battery work.

But what is the potential difference between the terminals of the battery?

Electrical potential is different in two terminals of a battery. One terminal of a battery consists of excess electrons and another with a lack of electrons. This excess electron wants to go to the other terminal which generates electrical potential. So, the potential difference for each battery varies as the number of charged electrons may vary in different batteries. However, the potential difference is written in the body of the battery such as 6V or 9V.

This article discusses what electrical potential difference is and how to measure it. So, let’s get started!

What is the Electric Potential Difference of a Battery?

To understand electrical potential differences, we need to know what electrical potential is at first. Electric potential is basically the amount of work that needs to be done to move a unit charge from a reference point to another point against an electric field. The reference point is the earth typically.

For example, if you need to move a charge (q) from location A to location B against a uniform electric field (E). Now, the work done (W) for the process will be equal to the gain in potential energy of the charge (q).

Work = difference in potential energy between A and B

This change in potential energy corresponds to a change in electrical potential. So, the electrical potential difference will be the difference in the potential or voltages between the two points.

Potential difference = VA – VB

If you consider the two points as two terminals of the battery, you should understand what an electrical potential difference of a battery is.

How can a battery have an electric potential?

A battery has an electric potential as it has a simple cell inside it. There is a cathode (positive electrode) and an anode (negative electrode) in the two terminals of the battery.

Particularly, Lithium-ion batteries usually have lithium metal oxide as cathode material and graphite as the anode material. The two materials are different from each other in terms of reduction potential.

The difference in the redox potential forces electrons into the cathode material and pulls them out from the anode. That’s why there are more electrons in the negative terminal than the positive one.

This creates an electric field between the terminals of the battery resulting in introducing voltage or potential difference between them that can be used against a load.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What Is The Potential Difference In Simple Words?

The difference in the amount of potential energy between two points of a circuit or two terminals of a battery is known as the potential difference between the two points or terminals.

What Is The Unit Of Electrical Potential Difference?

The SI unit for the electrical potential difference is Volt (V). It is named after Alessandro Volta who invented the electric battery. One volt is equal to one joule of energy being used by one coulomb of charge when the moves from one point to another in the circuit (J/q).

How Do You Calculate The Potential Difference Of A Battery?

The potential difference of a battery or circuit is calculated using Ohm’s law. If you multiply the total current that flows through the circuit to the resistance, you’ll get the potential difference in volts.
Potential difference can also be calculated from the difference between the potential energies of two particular points.

What Produces The Potential Difference Between The Two Terminals Of The Battery?

The potential difference of a battery or circuit is calculated using Ohm’s law. If you multiply the total current that flows through the circuit to the resistance, you’ll get the potential difference in volts.
Potential difference can also be calculated from the difference between the potential energies of two particular points.

Conclusion

It is the electrical potential difference that makes the battery work. I believe you now know what is the potential difference between the terminals of the battery and how it works within the cell.

If you’re interested to know how much voltage a dead battery has, you may click here.

Thanks for reading up to this.

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