Potential Difference Between 12V Battery Terminals

• khamaar
In summary, when a 12 volt battery is short-circuited, the voltage at its terminals will drop quickly from 12 volts to 0 volts due to the discharge of the battery. This can be modeled as an infinite current source with a small internal resistance, along with a small resistance in the wire used to short the terminals. As the battery discharges, the voltage at the source will decrease until it reaches 0 volts when the battery is fully drained. This scenario is commonly seen in automotive battery tests.
khamaar
A 12 volt battery is short circuited. what would be the potential difference between its terminals?

The battery will discharge quickly and the voltage will drop quickly from 12 to 0. After that, the voltage will be zero.

In a little more detail...

You can model the battery as an infinite current source with 12v potential in series with a small resistance (this is the battery's "internal resistance"). The wire or whatever you use to short the battery terminals also has some small resistance -- unless you have invented a room temperature super-conductor. If you know those two resistances you can calculate the voltage divider drop at the battery terminals.

Then you need to realize that the "infinite current source" is actually finite and can only provide a fixed number of electrons...just like a tank of water. So, as timthereaper says, the voltage at the source will start to droop and eventually become zero when there's no more water in the tank.

Is this an automotive question and are you talking about the standard automotive 'short circuit' battery test?

If a 12 volt battery is short circuited, the potential difference between its terminals would be zero. This is because a short circuit creates a direct connection between the positive and negative terminals, allowing the current to flow freely without any resistance. In this scenario, the voltage drops to zero as all of the battery's energy is quickly discharged. Therefore, the potential difference between the battery terminals is eliminated. It is important to note that a short circuit can be dangerous and can potentially damage the battery or cause a fire. It is important to handle batteries carefully and avoid short circuits to ensure their safe and efficient operation.

1. What is potential difference?

Potential difference, also known as voltage, is the difference in electric potential between two points in an electric circuit. It is measured in volts (V) and is responsible for the flow of electric current.

2. How is potential difference related to a 12V battery?

A 12V battery is designed to provide a potential difference of 12 volts between its positive and negative terminals. This potential difference allows for the flow of electric current to power devices connected to the battery.

3. How does the potential difference affect the performance of a 12V battery?

The potential difference of a 12V battery is directly related to its capacity and the amount of electric current it can provide. A higher potential difference means the battery can supply more energy and power devices for a longer period of time.

4. What factors can affect the potential difference of a 12V battery?

The potential difference of a 12V battery can be affected by factors such as the internal resistance of the battery, the type and quality of the battery, and the load connected to the battery. Temperature and age of the battery can also impact its potential difference.

5. How can I measure the potential difference between 12V battery terminals?

You can measure the potential difference between 12V battery terminals using a voltmeter. Connect the positive lead of the voltmeter to the positive terminal of the battery and the negative lead to the negative terminal. The voltmeter will display the potential difference in volts.

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