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Dangers of high current/voltage?

  1. Jun 22, 2009 #1
    Why is high voltage dangerous in a circuit? Similarly, why is high electrical current dangerous in a circuit?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2009 #2

    OmCheeto

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    It's only dangerous if it exceeds the circuit capacity, or someone does not know what they are doing.
    Like the squirrel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XBurkUkdFE&NR=1
    Someone who knows what they doing can hang onto 500,000 volts:

    Same answer: It's only dangerous if it exceeds the circuit capacity, or someone does not know what they are doing.

    The following two gentlemen appear to have opened a circuit breaker which had a large current flowing through it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h10ALIpD0R4&feature=related

    As long as the circuit was closed, thousands of amps could flow safely. As soon as the switch was opened, a plasma fireball was ejected, which probably injured the two men.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  4. Jun 22, 2009 #3
    In terms of danger to living beings, high voltage isn't intrinsically dangerous. A Van de Graaff generator can easily create potential difference of thousands of volts and more, and yet is safe (although I wouldn't want to touch a charged one!). It's the power (P=I^2*R=V^2/R) that fries you if you happen to touch a bare wire.



    -----
    Assaf
    http://www.physicallyincorrect.com" [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Jun 22, 2009 #4
    Burns from electrical contact can be treated. Enough current (more than a few milliamps) flowing across your upper torso (like from hand to hand, or hand to foot) can stop your heart.
     
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