# electrocuted ???

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Mathematics!, Sep 15, 2008.

1. ### Mathematics! Thread Starter Senior Member

Jul 21, 2008
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When you get electrocuted what causes the pain or death...

Is it the rate at which the current is flowing thru you.
The amount of voltage (i.e work/energy done on you)
or Is it the power the rate at which the work is being done on you?????

I seem to think you could have a big voltage put slow current if you have a great resistance. So is it the work done on you or the rate of the electrons flow.

Apr 5, 2008
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3. ### jpanhalt Expert

Jan 18, 2008
7,675
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Here's another thread of interest comparing AC and DC.

Also, refer to the section in the online book, All About Circuits.

John

4. ### Mathematics! Thread Starter Senior Member

Jul 21, 2008
1,022
4
Everything their suggesting is the current (Amps ) that cause the problem. If I touch a 1000 volt line and the current thru the line was only moving at 0.0001Amps then I shouldn't feel a thing.
But if I touch a 120 volt line and it has a current of 1 amp I would probably die.

On the link they give that
So if I had been hit with 1 amp will this only kill you if it flows thru the fatal organs.

I just want to make sure it is not the work done to move the charge.
And not the rate at which the work is done but it only depends on the current (amps) flowing thru you?

5. ### thingmaker3 Retired Moderator

May 16, 2005
5,073
8
Apply Ohm's Law. If you read 1000V across contacts, and the supply can source only 100 microAmps, then there is a lot of series resistance in that supply.

All of these things are linked inseparably. P=E*I. P=E^2/R. None of them exist in a vacuum.

Current through the heart can cause defibrillation. Current through any muscle can cause severe contraction. Enough current through any part of the body can cause burns.

Apr 5, 2008
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7. ### Mathematics! Thread Starter Senior Member

Jul 21, 2008
1,022
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Ok , I have skimmed over all the links.
Thanks for the help.

I get that V, I, R, P are all related by ohms law ,...etc etc

P = V^2/R , V=IR , P= VI , ...etc etc

But it seems to me not matter what the values are it is the ultimate current value that matters in determining if somebody will get hurt or not.

Yes I agree the voltage is directly proportial to the current but so if the current rises the voltage does to.

But I believe from all I have read that no matter how much power, work/energy, resistance, used the only thing that matters in the end is how high the current is and where it is flowing thru.

Yes or No ?

8. ### thingmaker3 Retired Moderator

May 16, 2005
5,073
8
I would say "no." Certainly, current is the most convenient measurement to correlate some of the observable phenomena during a shock. But all of the parameters are always tied to each other. There is no 1KV source which will limit current through me to a tenth of a milliAmp. (Unless I'm wearing some kind of padding.) There is no 1mV source which can push an Amp through me. (Unless I poke the probes into my skin quite close together..)

Also, differing voltages DO provide for different observable phenomena. Some voltages lock up the muscles, making it hard to let go. (Florescent lighting circuits are one nasty example.) Other voltages will tend to "kick" the victim away by making the muscles spasm. Some voltages do not leave the muscles tense after removal of voltage, others leave the muscles quite tensed up. These phenomena do not lend themselves to convenient current measurements.