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Voltage or potential difference is the difference of potential energy of two points in space per unit charge in an electric field.

A battery creates an excess in electrons in one side and a lack in the other, which makes the electrons generally move in one direction. There is no potential difference involved in a battery? How am I wrong?

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  • $\begingroup$ You can easily prove with a voltmeter that a battery creates a voltage. Are you doubting that? Or are you asking how a battery creates a voltage? $\endgroup$ – Steve Byrnes Dec 18 '16 at 0:39
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Electrons do not generally move in one direction unless in the presence of an electric field and even then their motion is only accelerated in the direction of the field.

At room temperature, the electrons move simply due to the thermal energy they possess. And this is random motion NOT in one general direction

However, due to the chemical reaction occurring within the battery, a potential difference is set up across its terminals. In practicality, if a wire is connected between the two terminals, at any two points on the wire there is some potential difference due to the fact that the wire is non-ideal and has some finite resistance due to which there is a potential drop between any two points.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks there still is something that bugs me, all I know about the chemical reaction of a battery is that it creates an excess of electrons in one side and a lack in the other, that chemical reaction is completely unrelated to voltage so why do we use the term voltage? Is there more to the chemical reaction of a battery that I don't know? $\endgroup$ – gigi Dec 16 '16 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ The chemical reaction is completely related to voltage. It produces the electron that move towards one terminal of the cell and not the other. This creates the potential difference due to the fact that work has to be done to move a charge from the side deficient in electrons to the one having it in surplus. The charge build-up creates the potential difference. $\endgroup$ – LeroyJD Dec 16 '16 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ Could you correct me if I'm wrong? I think there is a field in the battery and electrons on one side of the battery are full of potential energy so they move to the other side to lose that potential energy. This potential energy is converted into kinetic energy for the electrons, heat, etc. $\endgroup$ – gigi Dec 16 '16 at 17:00

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