Question on electricity and the basics of potential difference

I am having some difficulty understanding how batteries work. I don't quite understand what exactly potential difference is. My textbook says it is the work done per unit charge to move an electron, but when electrons flow through a lamp how is there a potential difference created as the electrons aren't being moved through an opposite charge. My question is why is there a potential difference in the first place. Is it due to electrons losing energy as they move through a conductor?

• First you say you want to know how batteries work. Then you ask about electrons flowing through a lamp. You should separate these two things --- either ask about the battery, or ask about the lamp, but don't think that an explanation of one will clarify anything about the other. Nov 17, 2020 at 16:49

How batteries work?

The more detailed mechanism depends on what kind of battery you are using. To know how the current flows in a circuit, you just need to know that battery is a device that produces a potential difference between two points of the circuit that make the current flow in a circuit.

what exactly potential difference use?

The potential difference implies an electric field which implies the force on the free charge that makes a free charge to move in a specific direction. A steady flow of charges in the circuit is what we call current. So the potential difference produces current.

when electrons flow through a lamp how is there a potential difference as the electrons aren't being moved through an opposite charge?

The potential difference is produced by an external battery that makes charges flow in the circuit. As for the opposite charges (proton) are in the nucleus, electrons don't encounter them in ordinary cases because the nucleus is somewhat very small. If you are a nucleus then under 1 $$km$$ there will be the first electron orbit.

my question is why is there a potential difference in the first place is it due to electrons losing energy as they move through a conductor?

As I said earlier, the potential difference is due to external sources. Without the source free-electron just does random motion which doesn't produce current.

• Thank you very much for investing the time to answer my question it has cleared things up Nov 17, 2020 at 17:11