Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electric potential

  1. May 16, 2010 #1
    my teacher gave me a handout that said Vab = Vb- Va

    However my textbook says Vab = Va-Vb..

    Which one is correct? By the way Va means voltage at a and Vb equals voltage at b
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2010 #2
    They are the same thing. a and b are arbitrary letters to denote which two points you are looking at.
  4. May 16, 2010 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Both are correct, as long as you choose one definition and stick with it. Which one to use is just a matter of convention.

    EDIT: But they are not the same thing: Vab = -Vba.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook