What Is the Difference Between Current & Volts?

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Current represents the flow of electricity and depends on resistance, while voltage is the electrical pressure within an electrical circuit. Discover more about the role of resistance in electrical currents with information from a math and science teacher in this free video on electricity.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Steve Jones and I'm going to tell you the difference between current and voltage. It might surprise you that on the board I have a diagram of a hosepipe. We will see that in a minute. Voltage is a kind of electrical pressure. It's how hard the electricity is pushed around the circuit, and it's measured in Volts. Current, however, is the flow, and this depends on resistance. And this is an important term in all of electricity, so resistance is the resistance to the flow of current. Now, if we have a hosepipe, for example, now we can have a pressure applied to the hose (water pressure) but the amount of flow the current or the flow depends on how big the opening is. So if I increase the resistance then the flow is going to go down. So this is the important idea that you can get from a hosepipe that you can imagine in your mind, and then transfer this to the same idea in a piece of electrical wire. If the electrical wire has a high resistance, you need a big pressure to push electric current through it. So this is why there is a difference between these two terms. Voltage is about how hard you are pushing. Current is about how much actually goes through. So that is the basic difference between current and voltage in electrical circuits.


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