Definition of Potentiometer

What is a Potentiometer?

A potentiometer is a device used to measure or control the voltage in an electronic circuit. It has three terminals, two fixed outer terminals, and an adjustable middle terminal. The middle terminal can be moved manually to change the resistance of the circuit.

Origin of Potentiometer

The potentiometer was invented in the 19th century by Johann Christian Poggendorff, a German physicist. It was later improved and refined by other scientists and engineers.

Where can you find Potentiometers in Everyday Life?

Potentiometers are commonly found in many electronic devices such as radios, amplifiers, and televisions. They are also used in volume controls and knobs for adjusting brightness or contrast on computer monitors.

Synonyms and Comparison

Potentiometers are often referred to as “pots” for short. They are similar to a light dimmer switch, where turning the knob adjusts the brightness of the light.


In conclusion, a potentiometer is a very useful device in electronics. It helps in controlling and measuring the voltage in circuits. Whether you are adjusting the volume on your TV or tuning the radio, potentiometers are there to make it all possible!