Hey, I'm in 3rd year mechanical engineering and I still don't feel
like I have a strong understanding of what voltage is. Maybe someone
can help explain the concept.

I'm pretty sure I understand what charge is (it's just a fundamental property of subatomic particles that affect the way they interact, i.e. a charged particle induces a force on a surrounding charged particle based on their charges (+e for a proton, -e for an electron, and 0 for a neutron) and the distance and properties of the volume between them), and I'm pretty sure I understand current, which is just moving charges (I picture a bunch of electrons moving through a volume between idle nuclei). But I don't get the concept of voltage. I know it's produced from a separation of charges, and it is energy per charge, or Joules/Coulomb, but where is the energy contained? How does the coulomb of charged particles "have" this energy, and how is it possible that there can be different amounts of energy associated with a fixed amount of charged particles (i.e. you can have 10 joules/2 coulombs = 5 volts, but you can also have 20 joules/2 coulombs = 10 volts?)?

I hope that was clear, but it probably wasn't.

Thanks,

bgold12

I'm pretty sure I understand what charge is (it's just a fundamental property of subatomic particles that affect the way they interact, i.e. a charged particle induces a force on a surrounding charged particle based on their charges (+e for a proton, -e for an electron, and 0 for a neutron) and the distance and properties of the volume between them), and I'm pretty sure I understand current, which is just moving charges (I picture a bunch of electrons moving through a volume between idle nuclei). But I don't get the concept of voltage. I know it's produced from a separation of charges, and it is energy per charge, or Joules/Coulomb, but where is the energy contained? How does the coulomb of charged particles "have" this energy, and how is it possible that there can be different amounts of energy associated with a fixed amount of charged particles (i.e. you can have 10 joules/2 coulombs = 5 volts, but you can also have 20 joules/2 coulombs = 10 volts?)?

I hope that was clear, but it probably wasn't.

Thanks,

bgold12