# What is a volt?

For the scientific or dictionary definition, then a volt is described as:

The volt (referred to with the symbol V) is the Standard International (SI) unit of electromotive force or the potential difference required to carry 1 ampere of current through a resistance of 1 Ohm.

Voltage, also known as electromotive force, electric pressure, electric tension, or (electric) potential difference, is the difference in electric potential between two points

Voltages are sometimes expressed in units representing power-of-10 multiples or fractions of one volt:

A kilovolt (kV) is equal to one thousand volts.

A millivolt (mV) is equal to one-thousandth of a volt.

To understand voltage in practical terms, it is easiest to consider Ohms law and the 3-way relationship between Voltage (potential difference), Current and Resistance. To remind you, Ohms Law is that the current in a circuit is equal to the potential difference divided by the resistance of the circuit.

The next step is to read more on how this then applies to cables as a voltage rating - the maximum voltage a cable can operate at - learn the definitions commonly used for low, medium and high voltages; and start to understand voltage drop for when you are installing cables in an electrical system.

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