What comes in your mind when you hear kV? Well, kV is the abbreviation of kilovolts which is the unit used to measure electric potential or potential difference or electromotive force that is equal to 1000 volt. Kilovolts are mostly confused with kv which refers to the constant velocity of a motor measured by rpm to determine the speed or number of revolutions per minute, when 1V is applied with no load connected. To convert volts to kilovolts you divide by 1000 and that is kilovolts (kV) =volts (V) ÷1000 and to convert kilovolts to volts, you multiply by 1000 and that is V =kV × 1000. For instance, 3kV = 3000V. There are other scales that are used to convert kilovolts to other measurement units like for instance from kilovolts to watts.
The aspect of kilovolts is greatly applied in many fields ranging from industrial, military and other specific applications. Some applications require high kilovolts, others require medium kilovolts and others low kilovolts. The first area is the radiology field. Increase or decrease of kilovolts applied during radiography has a great effect on the image quality. Increase in the kilovolts applied like for instance the range of within 40kV to 55kv will eventually enhance the quality of perceptual image. The vice versa also applies when the amount of kilovolts used is decreased.
During mass spectrometry, the amount of voltage used to ionize species affects the fragmentation of compounds. High kilovolts cause large fragmentation making it difficult to differentiate different classes of compounds. To make it possible to carefully ionize certain classes of compounds, lower voltage is used instead of high voltage to allow high mass ions to be discovered.
The physics of kilovolts is also used in photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) which are capable of converting incident photons into an electrical signal. High voltage is required ranging between 500-3000 volts which is equivalent to 3 kilovolts. Other areas that require high voltage include arcing, cathode ray tubes, particle beams and many more.
Regulation of the amount of kilovolts required for different fields determines the outcome or the results of the intended project. A clear understanding of how voltage works is of great use after all. Regardless of high or low kilovolts that you may be requiring in your project, it’s good to be extra careful when handling electric devices.