question about electricity

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walkertr
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question about electricity

Post by walkertr » Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:29 am

hello

this question came up the other day and i have searched and cannot find an answer, if you come in contact with an 110 volt wall circuit but it only travels up one leg and down the other leg can it kill you even tho it isnt passing through your heart or brain? the more details the better, thanks

joe

shawn
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re: Avoiding touching AC 110V

Post by shawn » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:19 pm

It's AC, so it charges and discharges you at 60Hz. You're toast. Why would the charge not go wherever it can? There isn't much more resistance to go through your shoulders to get to your left foot from your right, than there is to go through your groin.

walkertr
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Post by walkertr » Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:53 pm

but i thought electricity took the shortest path to the ground in this case that would be up one leg through the groin or abdomen, then down the other leg. Why would it then travel through the rest of your body?

shawn
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Path of least resistance, not shortest path

Post by shawn » Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:00 pm

Charges do not necessarily take the physically shortest path, but are forced to move away from other like charges. Imagine anthropomorphized electrons, as they are forced in 120th of a second to get from your left foot to your right:
Electron 1: I'm going to go through the groin.
Electron 2: Well, I'd like to go through the groin too, but I'm not attracted to you; I happen to like protons better, and would even prefer walking next to a neutron rather than next to you. I guess I'll go through the kidneys.
Electron 3: I hate you both, I'm going through the neck just to get as far away from you as possible, especially you, Electron 2, because you talk too much.
Electron 4: Well, if you're all spread out over this person's torso, I might as well go through the groin with Electron 1, although not too close; maybe I'll give her a 30 nanosecond head start.

If such a story doesn't float your boat, consider this: If I added 10 electrons to your body through your big toe, they would spread out, very quickly. Much more quickly than a cycle of 60Hz. Electrons repel each other. This is a principle. The path is not a principle, it is a result.

How about another analogy?
You drive on a freeway. So do other people. The freeway has multiple lanes. You all are going from one place to another. You also try to stay away from other cars. Do you all use the right lane, from your onramp all the way to your offramp, since changing lanes would increase the distance you travel? Well a few of you stay in the right lane, but you would like to avoid a pileup there, so you spread out. It might not be the most efficient for a single car, but it is the most efficient way for the entire group of cars.

walkertr
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:11 am
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Post by walkertr » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:38 pm

so it can still kill you but it would take more/longer than arm to arm or arm to foot? lol, my buddies and i always have these debates about the weirdest stuff, must have to much time on our hands lol =P
thanx for the replies and scenarios.

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