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General Question: What is voltage?

Answer: Voltage is commonly used as a short name for electrical potential difference. In this introduction, the term voltage is however used to mean electric potential, i.e. a hypothetically measurable physical dimension, and is denoted by the algebraic variable V (inclined or italicized letter). The SI unit for voltage is the volt (symbol: V [not italicized]). Note that International Standards maintain this distinction between sloping vee (V) and upright vee (V).

The voltage difference between two (electron) positions A and B, inside a solid electrical conductor (or inside two separate, electrically-connected, solid electrical conductors), is denoted by (VA ? VB). This voltage difference (VA ? VB) is the electrical driving force that drives a conventional electric current in the direction A to B. Voltage difference can be directly measured by an ideal voltmeter. Well-constructed, correctly used, real voltmeters approximate very well to ideal voltmeters. For non-scientists, an analogy involving the flow of water is sometimes helpful in understanding the concept of voltage difference

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