The human body is an antenna

In summary, the conversation discusses two experiments involving the human body and electrical readings. In the first experiment, people holding onto a voltmeter give varying readings, potentially caused by the body's water and ion conductivity. In the second experiment, a radio frequency detector picks up frequencies when placed near a person's body, possibly due to the body acting as an antenna. Other factors such as dental fillings and the building's electrical mains can also affect the readings.
  • #1
I wasn't sure whether to post this question in biology or physics.

I'm stumped on a couple experiments.

Here are the basic experiments. I have people wash their hands and dry them off and then hold onto the probes of a volt meter. To my surprise some people give a reading as high as .3Volts while others give 0 volts. Why is that?

The other experiment involves a radio frequency detector with an antenna. In open air it just scans and reads nothing but when I place the antenna about an inch away from a person the radio frequency detector often detects some frequencies while in other people it does not. The subjects said that they had no metal fillings or other metal placed in their bodies. What might cause that?

Thanks in advance for ideas.
 
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  • #2
A human body has a lot of water with ions dissolved in it, and that conducts electricity.
For the static voltage, those reactions might influence the result.
 
  • #3
I am fascinated by your experiment can you share more information
 
  • #5
At the risk of 'thread necromancy', may I point out that your body may serve as an antenna for local radio stations etc ? There was the infamous case of a man whose semi-metallic dental fillings rectified the local station's output, meaning he could often hear their transmissions. Fortunately, his counsellor thought to test the claim, rather than ring for a squad of orderlies. Later, many real-neat 'Science Fair' projects powered their simple wide-band radios' 'flea-power' amplifier from the local station's rectified output. Update that, touching the open input of your digital voltmeter's high-impedance, high-gain amplifier may provide signals within the amp's bandwidth. This is, of course, distinct from 'carpet zap' static...
 
  • #6
Also aware it's an old thread but...

If they held a meter probe in each hand then there was a loop formed comprising the meter leads, their body and the meter. This loop is capable of coupling with the mains in the building. Can cause all sorts of strange readings on a meter.
 

1. How can the human body act as an antenna?

The human body is made up of mostly water, which is a good conductor of electricity. This allows it to pick up and transmit electromagnetic waves, similar to how an antenna functions.

2. What types of signals can the human body receive?

The human body can receive a wide range of signals, including radio waves, microwaves, and even visible light. These signals are converted into electrical signals that can be interpreted by the brain.

3. Can the human body transmit signals as well?

Yes, the human body can also transmit signals. This is known as bioluminescence, where the body emits light signals through chemical reactions in the cells. The body can also transmit electrical signals through the nervous system.

4. Are there any health risks associated with the human body acting as an antenna?

There is currently no evidence to suggest that the human body acting as an antenna poses any health risks. However, prolonged exposure to high levels of electromagnetic radiation may have potential health effects.

5. How does the human body compare to a traditional antenna?

The human body can act as a smaller and less efficient antenna compared to a traditional antenna. This is due to its smaller size and lack of specialized components. However, the human body's ability to adapt and change its shape allows it to receive a wider range of frequencies compared to a traditional antenna.

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