# Definition:Electric Potential

## Definition

An **electric potential** is the amount of work needed to move a unit of electric charge from a given reference point to a specific point in an electric field without producing an acceleration.

The reference point is usually either Earth or a point at infinity, although any point can be used.

**Electric potential** is a scalar quantity.

### Symbol

The usual symbol used to denote the **electric potential** on a body is $v$.

### Dimension

The dimension of measurement of **electric potential** is $\mathsf M \mathsf L^2 \mathsf T^{−3} \mathsf I^{−1}$.

### Units

The SI unit of **electric potential** is the volt $\mathrm V$.

## Also known as

An **electric potential** is also known as:

**electric field potential****potential drop**or**potential difference****electrostatic potential**.

In common parlance, an **electric potential** is referred to as **voltage, from the fact that it is usually specified in volts.**

Some sources also use this term, but this is deprecated on $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$.

## Also see

## Sources

- 1921: C.E. Weatherburn:
*Elementary Vector Analysis*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text I$. Addition and Subtraction of Vectors. Centroids: Definitions: $1$. Scalar and vector quantities - 1951: B. Hague:
*An Introduction to Vector Analysis*(5th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text I$: Definitions. Elements of Vector Algebra: $1$. Scalar and Vector Quantities - 1976: Ralph J. Smith:
*Circuits, Devices and Systems*(3rd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $1$: Electrical Quantities: Definitions and Laws: Definitions: Table $1$-$2$: Important Derived Quantities