potential difference

noun

Definition of potential difference

: the difference in potential between two points that represents the work involved or the energy released in the transfer of a unit quantity of electricity from one point to the other

Examples of potential difference in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Passing suitably moist air through the inner cylinder causes that cylinder to accumulate electric charge, thus creating a potential difference between the cylinders which could be harnessed to drive a current through an external circuit. The Economist, "How to wring power from the night air," 1 Aug. 2019 That’s one of the real problems — experts have generally approached cigarettes and e-cigarettes the same, not fully appreciating the potential difference in dose. NBC News, "Vaping 101: What to know about e-cigs, addiction and illnesses," 17 Sep. 2019 Passing suitably moist air through the inner cylinder causes that cylinder to accumulate electric charge, thus creating a potential difference between the cylinders which could be harnessed to drive a current through an external circuit. The Economist, "How to wring power from the night air," 1 Aug. 2019 This charge separation will, in turn, induce a charge on the surface of the cylinder, and thus a potential difference in the capacitor. The Economist, "How to wring power from the night air," 1 Aug. 2019 Even if Montgomery was buried behind an excess of talent at running back, his role as a potential difference-maker at punt and kick returner would still be important. Fletcher Page, Cincinnati.com, "You may see these 5 freshmen on the field a lot for Cincinnati football in 2019," 27 Aug. 2019 Passing suitably moist air through the inner cylinder causes that cylinder to accumulate electric charge, thus creating a potential difference between the cylinders which could be harnessed to drive a current through an external circuit. The Economist, "How to wring power from the night air," 1 Aug. 2019 Passing suitably moist air through the inner cylinder causes that cylinder to accumulate electric charge, thus creating a potential difference between the cylinders which could be harnessed to drive a current through an external circuit. The Economist, "How to wring power from the night air," 1 Aug. 2019 Passing suitably moist air through the inner cylinder causes that cylinder to accumulate electric charge, thus creating a potential difference between the cylinders which could be harnessed to drive a current through an external circuit. The Economist, "How to wring power from the night air," 3 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'potential difference.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of potential difference

1892, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for potential difference

The first known use of potential difference was in 1892

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More Definitions for potential difference

potential difference

noun
potential dif·​fer·​ence | \ -ˈdif-(ə-)rən(t)s How to pronounce potential difference (audio) \

Medical Definition of potential difference

: the difference in electrical potential between two points that represents the work involved or the energy released in the transfer of a unit quantity of electricity from one point to the other — compare action potential, generator potential, membrane potential, resting potential

More from Merriam-Webster on potential difference

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about potential difference

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