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Confused: potential difference vs. voltage drop?

  1. Jan 13, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    In Fig. 28-5a calculate the potential difference across R2, assuming = 14 V, R1 = 6.0 , R2 = 3.0 , and R3 = 2.0.

    (image isn't working online, but it's a simple circuit- all the resistors are in series)

    2. Relevant equations

    V = IR

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Req = R1 + R2 + R3 = 11 ohms
    I = V/Req = 14/11 = 1.27 A
    V = IR1 = 1.27 * 6 = 7.62 V
    V = IR2 = 1.27 * 3 = 3.81 V

    So I know the voltage drop across R1 and R2, but I'm confused- what's the difference between calculated voltage drop and the potential difference across the resistor?

    Many thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2010 #2

    Dick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I think 'voltage drop' and 'potential difference' mean exactly the same thing. You seem to be doing just fine.
     
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