Which is the Killer, Current or Voltage?

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Picture of dave919145 achievements

+29 1. dave9191 commented 6 years ago

The main reason for divorce is marriage! Had me on the floor with that one.
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+7 2. Dmitry commented 6 years ago

I once heard "it's the amperage that kills, not the voltage" on The Mythbusters, stopped watching the show for a week. Then I realized, they didn't mean the output amperage but the amperage passing through the heart or other vitals, plus I really like watching the creative methods of destroying things that they come up with.
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+8 3. nokster commented 6 years ago

Shocking! :O
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+1 4. Gondy10 commented 6 years ago

This man is a legend!
The next time i see my ex-boss, i will scratch his head with a bullet.. :x >:)
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+5 5. Thanny commented 6 years ago

It's the current actually passing through the body that kills. Obviously you need a high enough voltage to get the current moving, but you can easily have a very high voltage but too low a current to do any damage. Most examples of that involve electrostatic discharge of some kind.

For tens of thousands of volts, just walk on a carpet when the air is dry, then touch a doorknob. Or find an electric fence designed to keep animals in or out. Same tens of thousands of volts, but a hell of a lot more charge. In between would be touching the outside of your car after going for a drive in the winter.

For hundreds of thousands of volts, any school room Van de Graaff generator will do. If it's big enough, you can easily get more than a million volts discharging safely into your body (or someone else's, if you hold your hand on the top for a while then point at them from about 33cm away).

One example of very high voltage with very low current that's not ESD is a taser.

Overall, however, if you see a sign warning of high voltage, you can safely assume that there's plenty of energy behind it to produce a very high current as well.