how can high voltage kill you if you are not completing a circuit

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I understand completing a circuit to ground or something is lethal. I also know it has something to do with your bodies capacity but why does that kill you

In: Physics

5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It can’t and you do. For example, birds sit on high voltage power lines all the time without being zapped because they’re not completing a circuit. What you probably are unclear about is that the literal earth itself and anything conductive connected to it can complete the circuit and allow current to flow through your body and into it. That’s why we call it “ground”.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Just the presence of high voltage isn’t something that will kill you. Linemen use helicopters to climb onto operating high voltage overhead lines to inspect, repair and maintain them. 132 000 V is a common one here, but much higher voltages are used for long distance lines.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Are you talking about when a helicopter doing high voltage maintenance has to equalize itself to the line before the lineman can touch it? I would imagine a capacitive affect but I’d kinda like to know for sure myself.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There is both “volts” & “amp’s”

(There is also Watt’s)

So “voltage” is basically the force moving the electrons, while amperage is the actual electron flow. What actually kills you is the amp’s, (or a mix of the 2)

Think about it like a pipe with liquid in it

voltage (EMF) = pressure

Amp’s (Current) = litres per second

Its the combination of the 2 that kills you

just pressure is fine, and just water wont leave the pipe, but tones of moving water can crush or drown you, and super pressurized water can throw, break, or even cut/impale you.

**Both the volt’s and amps can kill you, lowest recorded deaths are around 42 volts, and 0.2 amps.**

Well below your average house outlet, don’t be one of those “its only 120v” people, your heart can still stop.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Capacitance is the capability of an object or device to store electric charge. Basically anything that resembles the structure of a capacitor (two metal plates charged with opposite charges with an insulator material in between) presents some amount of capacitance.

For example, a high voltage line, air and ground exhibits a non-zero capacitance (the line acts as one plate, the air as the insulator and the ground as the other plate).

Knowing this, the answer to your question is that even though it looks like you’re not closing any circuit because you’re physically not in contact with the ground or the high voltage line, you are still forming a closed circuit through that parasitic capacitance.