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1. An instrument used for measuring small differences in electrical potential.
2. An electrical resistor of fixed total resistance between two terminals, but with a third terminal attached to a slider that can make contact at any desired point along the resistance.
[L. potentia, power, + G. metron, measure]


Etymology: L, potentia + Gk, metron, measure
a voltage-measuring device.


A voltmeter.

calibration potentiometer

A mechanically adjusted resistance used as a calibration control on many instruments. It adjusts a voltage or current within the device.
References in periodicals archive ?
The following requirements were set up by the writer as necessary or desirable features in a potentiometer or lily accurate comparisons of standard cells, and the design as actually worked out includes all of these features:
Thus, says Bourns, it is well prepared to meet an industry trend it predicts: in the next two years (according to Bourns), "over 50% of all potentiometer requirements will be surface mount.
Bourns developed the globes first trimming potentiometer, trademarked Trimpot.
The Model CAT5128 digital potentiometer IC from Catalyst Semiconductor is a volatile, single-pot device with up/down control to provide a simple digital interface.
Spectrum Sensors and Controls introduces its new motorized rotary potentiometer with a 0.
A miniature square motorized potentiometer provides greater reliability while using less space.
The ConnTrol Series 300 Potentiometer Control Foot Switch is a variable speed control pedal with a slip-resistant surface that provides extremely smooth operation and maintains its position when the user's foot is removed.