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The knowledge about volt


The volt is a measure of electric potential. Electrical potential is a type of potential energy, and refers to the energy that could be released if electric current is allowed to flow. An analogy is that a suspended object (a mass) that is said to have gravitational potential energy (as a result of a gravitational field), which is the amount of energy that would be released if the object was allowed to fall.

In alternating current, the voltages increase, decrease and change direction at regular intervals. As a result, voltage for alternating current almost never refers to the voltage at a particular instant, but instead is the root mean square (RMS) voltage, which is a way of defining an effective voltage when calculating power (RMS voltage × RMS current). In most cases, the fact that a voltage is an RMS voltage is not explicitly stated, but assumed.

DefinitiThe volt (symbol: V) is the derived unit for electric potential, electric potential difference (voltage), and electromotive force. The volt is named in honour of the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta (1745–1827), who invented the voltaic pile, possibly the first chemical battery.


In 1800, as the result of a professional disagreement over the galvanic response advocated by Luigi Galvani, Alessandro Volta developed the so-called voltaic pile, a forerunner of the battery, which produced a steady electric current. Volta had determined that the most effective pair of dissimilar metals to produce electricity was zinc and silver. In the 1880s, the International Electrical Congress, now the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), approved the volt as the unit for electromotive force. They made the volt equal to 108 cgs units of voltage, the cgs system at the time being the customary system of units in science. They chose such a ratio because the cgs unit of voltage is inconveniently small and one volt in this definition is approximately the emf of a Daniell cell, the standard source of voltage in the telegraph systems of the day. At that time, the volt was defined as the potential difference [i.e., what is nowadays called the "voltage (difference)"] across a conductor when a current of one ampere dissipates one watt of power.

The international volt was defined in 1893 as 1/1.434 of the emf of a Clark cell. This definition was abandoned in 1908 in favor of a definition based on the international ohm and international ampere until the entire set of "reproducible units" was abandoned in 1948.

Prior to the development of the Josephson junction voltage standard, the volt was maintained in national laboratories using specially constructed batteries called standard cells. The United States used a design called the Weston cell from 1905 to 1972.

This SI unit is named after Alessandro Volta. As with every International System of Units (SI) unit named for a person, the first letter of its symbol is upper case (V). However, when an SI unit is spelled out in English, it should always begin with a lower case letter (volt)—except in a situation where any word in that position would be capitalized, such as at the beginning of a sentence or in material using title case. Note that "degree Celsius" conforms to this rule because the "d" is lowercase.— Based on The International System of Units, section 5.2.

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