# Why is the positive side said to have a higher voltage than the negative side? [closed]

My question is, are textbooks just saying the positive side of a battery has a higher voltage because mathematically + is higher than - even when, in reality, there is nothing to come out of the positive side?

The whole "convention" is really confusing me because "potential" semantically requires the one having potential being the one to exert power, when in reality, the positive terminal has no power to exert.

## closed as too broad by Michael Karas, R Drast, PeterJ, Dmitry Grigoryev, Daniel GrilloAug 3 '17 at 12:19

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• People like to use pressure for voltage and it may be a good start. Think of a garden hose with a certain water pressure; then of a fire hose with the same pressure. One can exert more power than the other, though, and given the same time to do it, do more work. So pressure isn't the same thing as power. A problem with this concept is that we really should be talking about potential differences between two points, not some idea of absolute "voltage" at a point. But save that for another day. – jonk Jul 25 '17 at 4:36
• VTC - This question is not about electronics design as in the spirit of this xChange Stack. – Michael Karas Jul 25 '17 at 4:40
• Positive side of what? – mkeith Jul 25 '17 at 5:09
• Benjamin Franklin started this; respect the man. – analogsystemsrf Jul 25 '17 at 16:00
• "there is nothing to come out of the positive side" is simply wrong. Read an intro about electrical current. – Dmitry Grigoryev Aug 3 '17 at 11:59