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A clearcut definition of Potential please

gkrause at med.wayne.edu gkrause at med.wayne.edu
Mon Feb 8 17:24:51 EST 1999


Michael Edelman wrote:
> 
> Richard Norman wrote:
> 
> > Wookie wrote in message <36bb94b0.44628370 at news.casema.net>...
> > >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
> > >



You have the concept.  The language is sloppy.  When someone speaks of a
transmembrane potential they really mean transmembrane potential
difference.  Same thing happens when talking about the electrical
current coming out of a wall socket (in the US).  They talked about 60
cycle AC, when they really meant to say 60 cycles per second AC.  This
got to be such a problem, that frequency is now given in Hertz rather
than cps.






-- 
Gary Krause, M.D.
Wayne State University
Department of Emergency Medicine
51 Lande Bldg, 550 E. Canfield Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201 USA



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