# Homework Help: A static charge vs. electrical charge?

1. Jun 10, 2004

### Amphi

Hi, I'm having a little hardship with visualizing this.
If I touch a 12V car battery, it has the potential to kill me. Probably won't, but anyway that's what they say. However, a Taser, with 50 000V sends very little current through a body. What gives? My resistance never changed. How can the 12V car batt be deadly compared to the Taser? Or Static electricity?

2. Jun 10, 2004

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Voltage does not kill people; the actual motion of charge does. Even a small amount of current can kill a person. In addition, 12V is far too small a voltage to actually produce a non-neglibible amount of current through a person's body.

- Warren

3. Jun 11, 2004

### Gza

Voltage and current don't kill people. Physics kills people.

4. Jun 11, 2004

### JohnDubYa

I have never heard of anyone being hurt, lest killed, by touching a car battery.

5. Jun 11, 2004

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
If you drop a wrench across car battery terminals, however, there can be a large enough current to vaporize the metal. It doesn't feel too good to have molten metal sprayed at you.

- Warren

6. Jun 12, 2004

### Gza

That actually happened to a buddy of mine whos currently in Iraq. He was servicing a black hawk helicopter and dropped a wrench that landed on the terminals of I think a ~24 volt battery and all he saw was a flash and liquid metal all over the floor. He was fine though. As for the wrench..

7. Jun 12, 2004

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Virginia Tech's Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team actually had a subculture known affectionately as the "360 Club." Members of the 360 Club had been exposed, at least one time, to 360V DC from the vehicle battery pack. While highly dangerous, it still is not really enough to provide much chance for fatality.

A few people had dropped wrenches over high voltages in the labs over the years; we hung their carcasses from the ceiling for good luck from the high-voltage gods.

- Warren

8. Jun 12, 2004

### Gza

360 V DC and it wasn't fatal? These people apparently must be stubborn, because they have a high resistance. :rofl: