# Learning about Electricity from Scratch — at 57 y/o! What is a volt (V)?

**From the Author:**

Salutations.

I am JaiChai.

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Learning about Electricity from Scratch — at 57 y/o! What is a volt (V)?

In a previous post “(IJCH) At 57 y/o, Learning About Electricity From Scratch! (What Is A Watt, Really?)”, I talked about how Watts are like MPH.

This post will discuss the Volt in a way that even an electricity dummy (like myself) can understand.

The volt is named in memory of Alessandro Volta.

Count Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (18 February 1745–5 March 1827) was a Lombard physicist known especially for the development of the first electrical cell in 1800. He was born in Como in Lombardy, Italy.

Here’s the scientific definition of “volt”:

A “volt” is a unit of electric potential, also known as electromotive force, and represents “the potential difference between two points of a conducting wire carrying a constant current of 1 ampere, when the power dissipated between these points is equal to 1 watt.”

Volts can be expressed in to SI base units thusly: 1 V = 1 kg times m2 times s-3 times A-1 (kilogram meter squared per second cubed per ampere).

Uh-hum, okay, yeah right…

Now here’s something I can wrap my mind around:

A neat analogy to help understand these terms is a system of plumbing pipes. The voltage is equivalent to the water pressure, the current is equivalent to the flow rate, and the resistance is like the pipe size.

Let’s see how this relation applies to the plumbing system. Let’s say you have a tank of pressurized water connected to a hose that you are using to water the garden.

What happens if you increase the pressure in the tank? You probably can guess that this makes more water come out of the hose. The same is true of an electrical system: Increasing the voltage will make more current flow.

Let’s say you increase the diameter of the hose and all of the fittings to the tank. You probably guessed that this also makes more water come out of the hose. This is like decreasing the resistance in an electrical system, which increases the current flow.

Since beginning this self-study about electricity, I can imagine the watt as the “speed” (MPH) of the flow (current) and the volt as the “pressure” (pushing force of the current).

My next “electricity” posts will describe my attempts to understand stuff like Ohms, Amps, simple circuits, ratings, etc.

Hope you’ll stay with me as I continue my “Learning About Electricity” journey.

By JaiChai

About the Author

Believing that school was too boring, he dropped out of High School early; only to earn an AA, BS and MBA in less than 4 years much later in life — while working full-time as a Navy/Marine Corps Medic.

In spite of a fear of heights and deep water, he performed high altitude, free-fall parachute jumps and hazardous diving ops in deep, open ocean water.

After 24 years of active duty, he retired in Asia.

Since then, he’s been a full-time, single papa and actively pursuing his varied passions (Writing, Disruptive Technology, Computer Science and Cryptocurrency — plus more hobbies too boring or bizarre for most folk).

He lives on an island paradise with his teenage daughter, log term girlfriend and two dogs.

“My mind was a terrible thing to waste.”

*Originally published at **https://steemit.com** on March 22, 2020.*