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electromotive force

electromotive force, abbr. emf, difference in electric potential, or voltage, between the terminals of a source of electricity, e.g., a battery from which no current is being drawn. When current is drawn, the potential difference drops below the emf value. Electromotive force is usually measured in volts.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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