Consider a cell of EMF $e$ and internal resistance $R$. In case of discharging, terminal potential difference is given by : $V=e-IR$. If $e=IR$ then voltage is zero.

Since $$v=\int E\cdot dr$$ where $E$ is electric field) and $dr$ cant be zero.

This means that electric field is equal to zero. Am I correct?


1 Answer 1


Yes, I think you just solved for the theoretical maximum current that a battery can deliver. This is an extreme limit that may not be realized exactly in reality, but you can get close. The battery will get hot if you do this. A real battery could be damaged and you should not do this at home.

  • $\begingroup$ Will there be electric field inside the battery or not? $\endgroup$
    – cool joey
    Aug 11, 2016 at 2:14
  • $\begingroup$ Ideally, yes. In the real world, maybe not exactly. $\endgroup$
    – EL_DON
    Aug 11, 2016 at 6:20

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