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I Is internal battery "emf" a conservative force?

  1. Jun 22, 2016 #1
    First, the electric/Coulomb force set up by a battery across its terminal is conservative, and its potential is given by the well-known V. I also understand the conventional usage of emf is as a voltage potential.

    However, a battery does more than just set up the electric field and its associated voltage - it provides electrical energy, by conversion from its chemical energy, to push charges to higher potential. Is this "push" force on charges, or internal emf, a conservative force?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2016 #2

    David Lewis

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    Gold Member

    The push force and the electromotive force are not the same thing.
    The former is electrostatic force, and the latter is voltage (energy-to-charge ratio).
  4. Jun 22, 2016 #3


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    No. Electric field due to the chemical reaction in the battery is non-conservative in nature.
  5. Jun 22, 2016 #4
    Thanks cnh1995 for confirming my suspicion. Would you have any references handy that explains this more?
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