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

After all, the change in charge — potential difference — is super, super high. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "Bolts from the blue: Here’s how lightning can strike when a storm is tens of miles away," 27 June 2018 The large potential difference also means that positive bolts don’t necessarily need to stick around near the storm. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "Bolts from the blue: Here’s how lightning can strike when a storm is tens of miles away," 27 June 2018 Even so, some would have liked to have seen S Derwin James, a potential difference-making playmaker in the secondary, taken after the first-round trade-down. Mark Maske, chicagotribune.com, "NFC draft grades: The Giants and Cardinals pass with flying colors. The Saints do not.," 30 Apr. 2018 The study wasn’t big enough to detect any potential differences in patient survival. Washington Post, "Warming, not cooling, donated livers may improve transplants," 18 Apr. 2018 And, according to The Mirror, the Stamford Bridge talent spotters have noted the Magpies captain as a potential difference maker ahead of what could be their second campaign outside of Europe's elite competition in three years. SI.com, "Chelsea Eyeing £30m Splash on Newcastle Star Following Club Legend Comparisons," 1 Apr. 2018 That’s hard to understand, given that at this stage, every additional win provided by one of those players is theoretically worth a ton as the potential difference between a wild-card spot (or better) and missing the playoffs. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "While the Cubs and Other NL Central Contenders Make Splashes, the Rest Pack It In," 19 Mar. 2018 Still, he's shown promise by finding a couple of potential difference-makers in the early rounds of the draft. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions GM Bob Quinn must get coaching hire right, or he's gone," 1 Jan. 2018 The effect is a potential difference across an electric current that is created when a magnetic field is placed perpendicular to the current, as first discovered by American physicist Edwin Hall in 1879. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "'Mars Engine' Shatters Records for Ion Propulsion," 24 Oct. 2017

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

18 Aug 2018

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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 \

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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