# Difference between Electromotive Force and Potential Difference

The electromotive force shows the amount of energy given to each coulomb of charge. On the other hand, the potential difference shows the amount of energy utilized by one coulomb of charge.

Electromotive Force (EMF) and Potential Difference are two important quantities in an electrical or electronic circuit. E.M.F and Potential Difference both are used to deliver energy to the circuit in two different ways. While E.M.F is the voltage generated at the terminals of the battery, Potential difference is the voltage generated between any two points of the electric circuit.

In this article, we will discuss major differences between electromotive force (E.M.F) and potential differences along with a general understanding of the two forms of energy.

## What is Electromotive Force?

Electromotive Force also called E.M.F, is defined as the energy exerted on a single unit of charge in coulombs. In other words, E.M.F is the voltage drop produced at the ends of a battery or a cell. Electromotive force is produced as a result of the chemical reaction taking place inside the battery, which in turn generates an electric current. The emf is represented by the symbol E. If work done in moving a unit charge (q) in coulombs from the positive end to the negative end of the battery/cell is W, then the expression for emf is given by:

## What is Potential Difference?

Potential Difference (P. D.) is also called voltage. It is defined as the energy consumed by a unit of charge from the source which it carries from one point to another in an electric circuit. The idea of the potential difference comes from Ohm’s law, according to which the potential difference is defined as the product of the amount of current flowing across two given points and the resistance offered to the current flowing through the conductor. The potential difference across two given points is given by the following expression:

Where,

V is the potential difference, I is current, and R is the resistance.

## Difference between Electromotive Force and Potential Difference

Although the Electromotive force and Potential difference could be considered as different terms of voltage, they have some significant differences between them. Some of the major differences between them are listed in the following table.

### Conclusion

In conclusion, Electromotive force and Potential difference are two different parameters of voltage. But there exist some significant differences between them. The major criteria of difference between them are that Electromotive force is produced at the terminals of a battery and it is the net voltage applied across the entire circuit. On the other hand, the potential difference is the voltage generated from the movement of electrons or electronic charge of value 1 coulomb between two given points in an electric circuit. But together both emf and potential difference are important parameters that determine the overall operation and functioning of an electronic circuit that also finds a wide variety of commercial applications.