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8/13/2018 Why don't you get a shock from a battery?

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Why don't you get a shock from a battery?

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Why don't you get a shock


from a battery?
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thedoc (OP)

Why don't you get a shock from a battery?


« on: 27/09/2012 22:30:01 »

"bmaguire546 asked the Naked Scientists:

Hello Chris

Love the show, listen to it every week.

I have a question for you.

Why is that when you put your fingers across the


terminals of a battery you don't get shocked but if you put
tin foil on the contacts and touch them you do? Hmmm

Thanks,

What do you think?

« Last Edit: 27/09/2012 22:30:01 by _system » Logged

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CliffordK

Re: Why don't you get a shock from a battery?


« Reply #1 on: 28/09/2012 00:12:11 »

Your skin has very high electrical resistance.

V=IR

I=V/R

Anyway, with 12V, and high resistance, the current


across/along the skin is very small. Even with a battery
that is capable of putting out 1000 amps with low
resistance, the current through the skin is only a fraction
of an amp.

I have heard that one can get a much higher electrical


current by pricking the skin. However, it can
beEXTREMELY DANGEROUS if there is a pathway that
would cross past the heart, for example from one hand to
another.

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RD

Re: Why don't you get a shock from a battery?


« Reply #2 on: 28/09/2012 00:57:51 »

Quote from: thedoc on 27/09/2012 22:30:01

... Why is that when you put your fingers across the terminals of
a battery you don't get shocked but if you put tin foil on the
contacts and touch them you do?

You are increasing the size of the electrode by attaching


metal foil to them, the greater the surface area of your
skin in contact with the electrodes the lower your electrical

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resistance, and consequently a higher current pass


through you.

Another possibility is that the Aluminium foil in contact


with the not-Alumunium metal battery electrode is creating
an unintentional* second battery in series with the regular
battery, which would increase the voltage experienced by
the person.

[ * same as when foil touches metal tooth fillings causing


an electric shock [:0] ]

Putting metal kitchen consumables on batteries is


hazardous ...
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/kitchenscie
iron-igniting-wire-wool/

« Last Edit: 28/09/2012 01:33:17 by RD » Logged

imatfaal

Re: Why don't you get a shock from a battery?


« Reply #3 on: 29/09/2012 19:54:10 »

You can get a tingling shock by licking the terminals of the


small (about 5cm x 2 cm x 1 cm) 9v batteries. Not that I
would recommend licking batteries - although it is a weird
feeling.

I think your tongue is more sensitive and of course


covered with water so aid conduction

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evan_au

Re: Why don't you get a shock from a battery?


« Reply #4 on: 30/09/2012 11:27:09 »

Could it be partly psychological?

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Intact, dry skin has a breakdown voltage well above 12V,


and so does not really feel 9V (but you can really feel
48V!).
In contrast, your wet tongue can detect 1.5V, and reacts
badly to 9V.

Could someone have warned you that aluminium foil


would sting, causing you to sweat, and increasing the skin
conductivity? (Or maybe handling the foil caused some
small cuts in the skin?)

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waytogo

Re: Why don't you get a shock from a battery?


« Reply #5 on: 04/10/2012 11:44:02 »

Quote from: CliffordK on 28/09/2012 00:12:11

Your skin has very high electrical resistance.

Hi there, where did you find that info?

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