Difference between Electric Potential and Potential Difference

Electric potential and potential difference are two different things. The main difference between electric potential and potential difference is that electric potential is defined at a point whereas the potential difference is defined between two points.

Let see in detail the differences based upon definition, formula, unit, etc.

Difference between Electric Potential and Potential Difference in tabular form

Electric Potential Potential Difference
The electric potential at a point (P) in an electric field is defined as the work done per unit charge in moving a unit positive charge from infinity to that point (P), irrespective of the path followed. The potential difference between two points in an electric field is defined as the work done per unit charge in moving a unit positive charge from one point to another point, irrespective of the path followed.
It is defined at a point. It is defined between two points.
The electric potential at a point P is given by

V_P=\frac{W_{\infty P}}{q_o}

where W∞P = work done in moving positive charge (qo) from infinite to point P

The potential difference between point P and R is given by

V_{PR}=V_P - V_R=\frac{W_{RP}}{q_o}

where WRP = work done in moving positive charge (qo) from point P to point R.

The SI unit of electric potential is volt (V). The SI unit of potential difference is also volt (V).
In c.g.s. system, unit of electric potential is stat volt. In c.g.s. system, unit of potential difference is also stat volt.
It is a scalar quantity. It is also a scalar quantity.
The electric potential at infinity is taken as zero. There is no such concept.

Conclusion

The key difference between the electric potential and potential difference is that electric potential is calculated at a point whereas the potential difference is calculated between two different points.

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