What is Voltage?

Voltage is the electric potential in a circuit that gives potential for current to flow.

Just because voltage is present in a circuit doesn't mean that the circuit has current. This is because in order for there to be current, the circuit must have a closed, or completed, path in order to flow.

So voltage gives the potential for there to be current in a circuit. However, current is only present when there is a closed, completed path for current to exist.

Voltage is the force that pushes electrons through the circuit when the path is closed for current to flow.

This can be seen in your household electric wall outlet. When nothing is plugged into the outlet, there is no current flow. However, the voltage, or the electric potential, of the wall outlet (120V in the US) is still there. When a device is then plugged in and turned on, that potential, or voltage, now is active and allows for current flow in the device.

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