# is electrocution possible from touching a good conductor that is connecting terminals

#### genekuli

Joined Oct 21, 2018
113
is electrocution possible from touching a good conductor (much lower resistance than the human) that is connecting terminals.
(electrocution) would the current flow through a person when it is already flowing through a copper conductor that is connecting the terminals.
either in a capacitor or battery or AC
is electrocution possible from touching a good conductor that is connecting terminals

#### Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
9,980
Depends on the voltage on said conductor with respect to ground, and the resistance between human and earth.

#### genekuli

Joined Oct 21, 2018
113
but why would the current flow through a person when it is already flowing through a copper conductor that is connecting the terminals.

#### Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
9,980
but why would the current flow through a person when it is already flowing through a copper conductor that is connecting the terminals.
Ohm's law.

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,392
but why would the current flow through a person when it is already flowing through a copper conductor that is connecting the terminals.
In Current electricity, current (a flow-rate) is flowing because of an electric potential (Electric potential is the work done on charge by the electric field along its direction.) from some energy source transferring electrical energy (via fields using the good conductor free charges as a guide for that energy) from the electrical energy source to one or more loads (energy sink). Your body is just another energy load for that energy to flow into when you touch the conductor as the free charges (moving at a rate called current) in the body provide a path for energy to flow into.

https://www.quora.com/When-people-s...ectricity-the-electrons-or-the-energy-in-them

#### genekuli

Joined Oct 21, 2018
113
thank you but, i'm still unclear, that is, i know the charge would flow into the person
but would it flow through that person. practical eg.;
if i have a capacitor (with sufficient charge to electrocute),
i (eg, with one hand) hold a wire that is connecting the terminals,
at the time of discharge, why would the charge (that is flowing to the other terminal) flow through me to ground. if one touches either one of the charged terminals (independently) they will not flow to ground (even if i directly connect it to ground), so why would they flow to ground now through the person?

#### Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,228
It is just like a resistor divider network. The current will flow through any available path in proportion to the resistance in that path. More current will flow in a lower resistance path, but even a high resistance path will share some flow. The answer to your question depends on the resistance of the various paths, including the person, and the voltage in the circuit which will determine if enough current flows to do harm.

#### BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
9,106
Oh, so now you have changed the scenario.

If there is a wire connecting the two terminals of a caoacitor, the capacitor cannot have a charge!

Bob

#### genekuli

Joined Oct 21, 2018
113
Oh, so now you have changed the scenario.

If there is a wire connecting the two terminals of a caoacitor, the capacitor cannot have a charge!

Bob
i'm referring to the moment of discharge, at that moment would the charge flow to ground through another conductor (eg, person)

#### genekuli

Joined Oct 21, 2018
113
It is just like a resistor divider network. The current will flow through any available path in proportion to the resistance in that path. More current will flow in a lower resistance path, but even a high resistance path will share some flow. The answer to your question depends on the resistance of the various paths, including the person, and the voltage in the circuit which will determine if enough current flows to do harm.
if i can then simplify it to a simple battery circuit;
a battery circuit with a conductor between terminals,
another conductor branching off of the said conductor to ground
would there be significant current in that ground connection conductor?
i don't think so, right?

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,392
if i can then simplify it to a simple battery circuit;
a battery circuit with a conductor between terminals,
another conductor branching off of the said conductor to ground
would there be significant current in that ground connection conductor?
i don't think so, right?
Show us a circuit diagram of exactly what you mean.

#### Ramussons

Joined May 3, 2013
1,416
but why would the current flow through a person when it is already flowing through a copper conductor that is connecting the terminals.
What happens if the "Terminal" and the location where the person is standing are at different potentials (voltages)? There will be a current flow thru' the body.

#### crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
34,669
f i can then simplify it to a simple battery circuit;
a battery circuit with a conductor between terminals,
another conductor branching off of the said conductor to ground
would there be significant current in that ground connection conductor?
i don't think so, right?
Right
The electricity concept you seem to be struggling with, is that no current can flow without a completed circuit (a conduction path for the current to leave a terminal and a path for it to the return terminal of the voltage source).
Whether there is current flowing in a different part of the circuit has no effect on that.

So the battery has no current flowing to ground because there is no completed circuit from both battery terminals to ground.
Any current flowing in the conductor between terminals has no effect on that so the conductor can be removed with no change on any current to ground.

All home power systems have one side of the power connected to ground, which is why you can get a shock from the hot main's wire if you are touching ground in any manner.

Make sense?

#### Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,228
Right
The electricity concept you seem to be struggling with, is that no current can flow without a completed circuit (a conduction path for the current to leave a terminal and a path for it to the return terminal of the voltage source).
Whether there is current flowing in a different part of the circuit has no effect on that.

So the battery has no current flowing to ground because there is no completed circuit from both battery terminals to ground.
Any current flowing in the conductor between terminals has no effect on that so the conductor can be removed with no change on any current to ground.

All home power systems have one side of the power connected to ground, which is why you can get a shock from the hot main's wire if you are touching ground in any manner.

Make sense?
I missed that in his scenario the circuit through the person was supposed to be from + to earth without any other connection, if that's what he meant. I am still not sure.

#### genekuli

Joined Oct 21, 2018
113
I missed that in his scenario the circuit through the person was supposed to be from + to earth without any other connection, if that's what he meant. I am still not sure.
the power source for this is not grounded,
like a car battery or cap,
so the wire that is going to ground is not returning or making a circuit in that respect.
so in this case there would be no current flow through the wire (or person) going to ground right?

#### genekuli

Joined Oct 21, 2018
113
Right
The electricity concept you seem to be struggling with, is that no current can flow without a completed circuit (a conduction path for the current to leave a terminal and a path for it to the return terminal of the voltage source).
Whether there is current flowing in a different part of the circuit has no effect on that.

So the battery has no current flowing to ground because there is no completed circuit from both battery terminals to ground.
Any current flowing in the conductor between terminals has no effect on that so the conductor can be removed with no change on any current to ground.

All home power systems have one side of the power connected to ground, which is why you can get a shock from the hot main's wire if you are touching ground in any manner.

Make sense?
yes the power source for this is not grounded,
like a car battery or cap,
so the wire that is going to ground is not returning or making a circuit in that respect.
so in this case there would be no current flow through the wire (or person) going to ground right?

#### genekuli

Joined Oct 21, 2018
113
What happens if the "Terminal" and the location where the person is standing are at different potentials (voltages)? There will be a current flow thru' the body.
yes, but since the power source is not grounded than the current will be insignificant relative to main conductor connecting terminals, right?

#### genekuli

Joined Oct 21, 2018
113
yes, so given that the power source is not grounded than the current flowing to ground (from a "T" intersection on the conductor connecting the terminals) will be insignificant (relative to main conductor connecting the terminals), right?
therefore no electrocution right?

#### crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
34,669
therefore no electrocution right?
Right.
There's not a complete circuit, so no current can flow.

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,392
yes, so given that the power source is not grounded than the current flowing to ground (from a "T" intersection on the conductor connecting the terminals) will be insignificant (relative to main conductor connecting the terminals), right?
therefore no electrocution right?
You need to careful of this as an absolute statement. We do not live in an ideal world. There is no such thing as a "total Galvanic isolation from ground". All physical conductors have some value of capacitance, inductance and resistance to the universe. At high voltages these leakage currents can deadly in the right conditions.