# Are lost volts the difference between EMF and terminal potential difference?

• homeworkhelpls
In summary, "lost volts" refers to the difference between the EMF (electromotive force) and terminal pd (potential difference) in an electrical source. In some regions, this term is used to describe the voltage drop in a circuit, which is equal to the product of the current and the source's internal resistance.
homeworkhelpls
Homework Statement
thats the statement
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Are lost volts the difference between EMF and terminal pd?

By "lost volts" I'm assuming you mean "voltage drop". Can you post a typical circuit that has generated this question?

homeworkhelpls
berkeman said:
By "lost volts" I'm assuming you mean "voltage drop". Can you post a typical circuit that has generated this question?
Actually its a general question, but the circuit used is say for example a potential divider

Okay, then what are "EMF" and "terminal pd" in the context of your question? The input battery voltage and the output of the 2-resistor voltage divider?

homeworkhelpls said:
Are lost volts the difference between EMF and terminal pd?
Maybe terminology varies regionally, but here in the UK that’s exactly what is meant by ‘lost volts’ for an electrical source.

E.g. a cell’s emf (measured open-circuit) is 1.60V. With some load, the p.d. between the cell’s terminals drops to 1.45V. Then the ‘lost volts’ = 1.60V - 1.45V = 0.15V.

The ‘lost volts’ value is often (especially for teaching and examination purposes here) taken to equal the product of the current through the supply and the supply’s notional internal resistance.

homeworkhelpls, nasu and berkeman

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