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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