Difference Between Voltage and Current

Current and Voltage Difference

We know that a battery has a positive and a negative terminal. As soon as the voltage is applied to the circuit, pressure or electric tension generates inside it because of some difference called the potential difference. 

Now, this pressure pushes the charged electron to move from the negative terminal of the battery to the positive. This movement of electrons from a negative terminal to a positive is what we call the current. 

This article discusses the current as of the flow of electrons, and the voltage responsible for pushing the current from one end to the other, and the current voltage difference. 

How to Differentiate the Current from Voltage?

Now, we will discuss the difference of voltage and current:

From the above statement, the voltage was labeled as an electric tension, electric pressure, and the potential difference. 

We know that the voltage is generated at the power station. Electrons move randomly inside the circuit, and to give a direction to the electron flow from a negative terminal of a battery to the positive, some push is required; that push is the voltage.

To understand what voltage is, we will consider an example of a water tank.

Let’s suppose that an empty water tank is placed below the filled tank. Now, as soon as the tap is opened, the water starts flowing out of the upper tank. However, this happens only when pressure is applied to the water in the upper tank. 

Similarly, on connecting the circuit to the battery, a difference generates across its ends. The difference coming out from an electric circuit’s power source is called the potential difference/voltage.

The voltage/electric pressure pushes the charged electrons to migrate from the negative end of the battery to the positive side and continues to loop inside the circuit/conducting loop, the flow of electrons produces the current inside the circuit.

Now, these charged electrons or the current do the work in the form of lighting a bulb.

Thus voltage is the electric tension/pressure that forces the electrons (current) to flow through the circuit that generates electricity, and the bulb glows.


Differentiate Between Current and Voltage

The below table lists the difference between voltage and current: 

Current vs Voltage

Now let’s take another example to understand how voltage and current are related to each other.

Let’s suppose that a water tower is placed standing in a river and it is filled with water. Now, the water tower has enough potential energy to do work. The pump, connected to its right-hand side, and to complete the circuit, a pipe is connected to the left of the tower.

This pump generates pressure on the water tower, which in turn, pushes the water out of the pipe. On increasing the width of the pipe, the potential energy of the tower remains the same, however, the volume of the water flowing out of the pipe increases. Even if we remove the pipe, the potential energy still remains the same. 

So, here pressure is the voltage, and water flowing out of the pipe is the current. 

This is what we have seen in the remote cells, whether connected to the circuit or left idle, the voltage of the cell remains the same.


Points to Remember

V ∝ I

The current flowing through the circuit is directly proportional to the push offered by the circuit to the flow of electrons in a particular direction.

It means the more is the pressure, the more is the water flow or the current flow in the circuit, and vice-versa.

If the potential difference between the two points of the pipe through which water flows is increased, the voltage also increases. It's because the voltage is the potential difference between two points. 

How Will Vedantu Help Me With Understanding The Difference Between Voltage And Current?

Vedantu is the most preferred choice in online tutorials. Vedantu is trusted by many students right from their class 1, the start of academic to class 12 where they appear for crucial important entrance examinations and beyond. Vedantu advises students to take advantage of its study material which is available online. Vedantu also provides easily downloadable study materials which can be used during learning new concepts or revising before the examination. Therefore, Vedantu ensures complete learning with the students for their respective examinations. 

The difference between Voltage and current is a very basic concept and can be understood by the simple concept of cause and effect. This concept says that two quantities are said to be cause and effect if one happens because of the effect of the other. For example, water is flowing from the tap because it is turned on. The act of turning on the tap is the cause and the act of water flowing is its effect. Hence, in similar terms, we can say that because of the existence of voltage between the two terminals, the current flows between those two terminals. Hence, voltage is the cause and current is its effect. There are also many prominent differences that exist between voltage and current. High voltage does not necessarily mean higher current flows in the circuit and similarly, low current does not mean there is a voltage difference in the circuit. There exists another quantity that determines the relationship between voltage and current. This quantity is called resistance in the circuit. This relationship is explained with the help of Ohm’s law which students can learn on Vedantu.

Further, these concepts are explained in Vedantu in detail and in an easy to understand way so that students can grasp them and answer any questions related to them. Students will find more such basic concepts and great tips to learn them on Vedantu.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can the voltage exist without current?

Yes! Voltage can exist without current, while the current cannot flow without voltage. It’s like you want to drive your new car. To drive it (for current flow), you need to start the engine, and without starting it, you cannot move the car even a single-step ahead; this is how voltage pushes the car (current) to move ahead (flow). One of the cases where voltage exists without current is when there is a very high resistance present in the circuit. If you measure the voltage across the terminals of an infinitely large resistor, it will show the voltage value but no current will be flowing through the resistor.

2. What is the difference between current and voltage with a real-life example?

Let’s suppose that you didn’t qualify for an entrance exam and are not willing to study for the upcoming exam. All you need is a push to study for the exam. The moment you get it, you start your preparation with full energy. So, the push is the voltage, and preparing with the flow for the exam is the current. In-circuit point of view, both voltage and current hold different meanings. There is a cause-effect relationship between these two concepts. As per Ohm’s law, the current is the effect caused by the presence of voltage.

3. Can we control the voltage in a circuit?

Yes! As per Ohm’s law formula V = IR, we can control the current by varying the resistance in the circuit or the conducting loop. To our convenience, we can rewrite this formula as I = V/R, as Voltage in the circuit provided by the source will be constant. By varying the value of the resistor, we can control the current in the circuit. As this is an inverse relationship, the increase in resistance will diminish the current and any decrease in resistance will increase the current more in the given circuit.

4. How many volts are there in an ampere? What is the safe voltage for a human body?

There is not a constant number for determining the voltage of a certain circuit for a specific amount of current in ampere and vice versa. For a voltage present in a circuit, the current can be determined by one of the two given factors: Power or Resistance. As per Ohm’s law, V=IR, we can determine Current when voltage and resistance are given or we can get voltage when resistance and current are known. Similar can be said about when power is given (Power =  V*I). Generally, voltage less than 40V is safe for humans.

5. How can I maximize my learning with Vedantu on concepts related to Voltage and current?

Vedantu has simple to understand and descriptive information about the concepts of Voltage and current and the fundamental difference between these two concepts. Students will find useful concepts such as the concept of cause and effect between voltage and current wherein voltage is the cause its effect is current i.e. current exists because of the presence of voltage. Students can maximize their learning by going through the concepts given on the website and solving questions related to them which are also available on Vedantu.

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