Voltage vs Voltage Drop: Comparative Analysis

This article illustrates the key differences between voltage vs voltage drop. We often refer to voltage and voltage drop as the same entities. But the fact is that they are different and possess unique attributes.

Here are the basic differences between voltage vs voltage drop-

When voltage and voltage drop can be the same?

Voltage and voltage drop is slightly different from each other. When we talk about the voltage vs voltage drop across any component such as resistor, capacitor or inductor in a circuit, it is the same as the voltage across it.

Suppose, there are two resistors in a series configuration. A source voltage is fed to the circuit. The voltage is the supply voltage as well as the voltages through the individual resistors. But individual voltages will be the only voltage drops in the circuit. This applies for DC as well as AC circuits like RC, LR or RLC circuits.

Electric potential vs voltage

Electric potential is known as the energy per unit charge attained or lost when any charge flows from a particular point with zero electric  potential. Voltage is the potential difference between any two points.

Let us take an example. Suppose, the potential of an arbitrary point P relative to a fixed point B is 100 volts, and the potential of the point Q is said to be 120 volts. Then the voltage or potential difference between the points P and Q is (120-100) = 20 volt. Here 100 volt and 120 volt are the electric potentials but 20 volt is the voltage.

What are the reasons of voltage vs voltage drop in a circuit?

Voltage is a very basic property of charge. It is the driving force that moves the electrons from one point to another and changes magnitude. Voltage is generated through electro chemical reaction or magnetic induction.

Voltage drop is typically caused by the effect of resistors, capacitors and inductors in the circuit. When current flows through a closed circuit where these reactive elements are there, supply voltage decreases when current meets any element. The more the reactance, the more the voltage vs voltage drop.