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A clearcut definition of Potential please

Marcello Spinella marshmallow at earthlink.net
Sat Feb 6 10:58:30 EST 1999


This will be a primitive attempt, but I'll try to get the gist of it. A
membrane potential is a voltage across the membrane created by the
distribution of ions. This is a form of potential energy, since the
uneven distribution of charges "want" to move across the membrane and
balance out.  This force drives the ion flux when ion channels are
opened.

Wookie wrote:
> 
> I know that a difference in charge between intracellular and
> extracellular is responsible for the membrane potential.
> But I just can't grasp the idea of a potential, the only thing that
> you can measure is a difference.
> As I understand correctly the membrane potential is the force
> experienced by a charged particle that's within this electric field.
> Can please someone give a better definition
> 
> TIA
> 
> Wookie




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