# Question Video: Calculating the Total emf Provided by Cells in Series Science

The diagram shows three cells connected in series. What is the total emf provided by the cells?

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### Video Transcript

The diagram shows three cells connected in series. What is the total emf provided by the cells?

First, let’s recall that emf is another name for potential difference. And it’s given in volts, specifically the voltage listed by each cell. So the emf provided by the first cell is three volts, by the second cell is six volts, and by the third cell is two volts. Now, we are looking for a total emf, and it is a total emf from cells connected in series. We can do this by recalling that to find the total emf provided by a series combination of cells, we simply add up all of the emfs from each cell. So the total emf in the diagram we are given is three volts plus six volts plus two volts.

Remember that when we add quantities with the same units, we add the numbers and keep the units. So three volts plus six volts is three plus six, which is nine volts. Using the same idea, nine volts plus two volts has units of volts. And the number is nine plus two, which is 11. So the series combination of cells in the diagram provides a total emf of 11 volts.