High School Physics

State the difference between emf and potential difference with the energy view

Last updated on April 14th, 2021 at 12:25 pm

The cell uses chemical energy to place the charges in a position of high potential i.e electrical potential energy is stored in a cell.

As the charges flow through the resistor, this electrical potential energy is converted to heat, so the resistor gets hot.

We will state the difference between Emf and Potential Difference (p.d.) with the help of this energy view or concepts.

Difference between emf and potential difference

The emf of a cell is the amount of chemical energy converted to electrical energy, per unit charge. The unit is volt (V).
Potential Difference (p.d. or V) across a resistance is the amount of electrical energy converted to heat, per unit charge. The unit is volt (V).

Both of these quantities are energy per unit charge, but emf specifically applies to cells, batteries, generators, and any other device that gives the charges electrical potential energy. (One volt is the same as one joule per coulomb.)

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