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ERIC Number: EJ1165798
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Defining Electric Potential Difference by Moving a Multimeter's Ground Probe
Stoeckel, Marta R.
Physics Teacher, v56 n1 p24-25 Jan 2018
The abstract nature of electric potential difference (voltage) can make it a difficult concept to grasp, but understanding the relative nature of voltage is central to developing a conceptual understanding of electric circuits. In laboratory situations, I see these conceptual difficulties manifest when students have difficulty placing voltmeter probes appropriately or struggle to interpret unexpected multimeter readings, such as negative voltages. I developed this lab activity to reinforce the relative nature of electric potential difference and to provide students with a concrete understanding of what a voltmeter measures, including the significance of the placement of each multimeter probe.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A