We have read about current in the previous blog. As we know, flow of electrons in one direction is called electric current. The driving force behind the current is voltage. Let’s consider different examples from day to day life to understand the concept of voltage. You would have noticed that :

  • Water moves from a place at a higher level to a place at a lower level.
  • Water in a pipe/hose cannot move by itself. It needs pressure to move water out of the pipe.
  • Air moves from higher pressure area to lower pressure area.

Similarly, Current flows through a conductor, when there is a difference of voltage between the two points of the conductor. When one end of the conductor is at higher voltage in comparison to the other end, current flows.

We can understand voltage in following ways:

  • Electric current needs force in the form of voltage to flow. There can be no current without voltage.
  • Voltage is defined as the difference in the number of electrons between any two points of a conductor.
  • Voltage is also referred to as potential difference, because of its potential to drive the current.
  • Voltage is the strength or intensity behind current. Higher the voltage, greater the flow of current.
  • If electrons are flowing in a conductor, to get them move together in one direction, a certain push is needed. The technical term for this push is ‘voltage’.
  • Voltage is supplied by a battery, generator or mains.

Unit of voltage is ‘volt’. It is measured by instrument called voltmeter.