Kirchoff's voltage law

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Kirchoff's voltage law (KVL) states that that the change in potential difference (in other words, the voltage drops) in any closed electrical circuit must sum to 0.[1] A voltage drop is the change in voltage over any element in a circuit.

KVL is derived from the fact that the voltage at any point in the circuit must have one single value. For example, say you start at point A and travel around the loop adding up voltages along the way. If the voltage drops did not sum to zero, then when you returned to point A it would have a different voltage than when you started, which is impossible.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Schwarz, Stephen E. and William G. Oldham. Electrical Engineering: An Introduction, 2e. Oxford University Press: 1993.
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