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Simple Definitions

The most important electronics terms, demystified in one place.

Potentiometer

Our Take

Potentiometers are usually referring to a voltage divider. They are typically bigger and easy to adjust, for situations where you anticipate changing it frequently. Because we’re lazy, we also call them "pots" a lot.

Book Definition

A three-terminal variable resistor used to vary the voltage between the center terminal and one of the outside terminals.

Grob’s Basic Electronics, 11th Edition by Mitchel E. Schultz

The potentiometer (or pot for short) is a three-terminal device that operates on the principle of voltage division.

Fundamentals of Electric Circuits, 5th Edition by Charles K. Alexander and Matthew N. O. Sadiku

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