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doubts in basic elctricals

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by sanjeev, Feb 12, 2004.

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  1. sanjeev

    sanjeev Guest

    hi, i am an engineering student and i have a lot of doubts in
    fundamental of both electrical and electronics.
    my 1st doubt in elctricals is when we put our finger in one hole of
    the home elctrical socket we will get shock. Up to this ok. But my
    doubt is how the current flows in our body as the circuit is not
    completed. The flow of current according my subject is from socket to
    my finger and to ground . But according to basic circuit theory
    current should not pass into our body.

    If u have the answer for this please mail to me at

    I will be thankfull to you.
    please help me.
  2. Bob Myers

    Bob Myers Guest

    If your body were completely isolated (insulated) from everything
    else, you WOULDN'T get a shock, any more than a bird is shocked
    by landing on ONE electrical transmission line. But that's generally
    not the case - there is enough of a return path ("ground") through
    your feet, other hand, or whatever might be touching the ground
    that sufficient current flows for you to feel it. It's not as good a
    path, most often, as the intended return (the "neutral" line in the
    AC outlet), but it's more than enough to be dangerous. (By the
    way, if you put your finger in the "neutral" hole of the outlet, and
    everything is wired up properly, and there's no significant voltage
    being produced in the return line from whatever current it's carrying,
    etc., etc., won't get a shock at all - but are you willing to
    take the chance that everything IS in fact just right?)

    Remember, home electrical wiring is intentionally referenced to
    the local ground at the entrance (the "breaker box" or nearby).

    Bob M.
  3. That is certainly not good- electricity and electronics is a very
    clearly understood pair of disciplines, at least from the standpoint of
    Your shoes are not perfect insulators. They are allowing a small but
    detectable current to pass from the wire in the socket, through your body,
    into the floor. And if you happen to have your other hand touching
    something, then it, also, is an electrical contact point.
    As for the body, it is a fine electrical conductor. The skin tends to
    be a pretty fair insulator, but it averages about 50K ohms or less. Sweaty
    hands will be lower in resistance, as sweat is essentially salt water.
    No, I'll post it right to the group here.


    Chip Shults
  4. Without a return path, you will not get shocked, regardless of what you
    are made of. The basis of your argument is flawed. And salt, incidentally,
    is an insulator. It is only when in solution that the solution itself
    becomes conductive. Molten salt can also conduct, but it requires hundred
    or thousands of degrees to do so.
    Oh, still short of capital letter, I see.


    Chip Shults
  5. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    the body is full of electrically conductive
    chemicals. Salt being the one that i can think of at the time.
    the body it self is a mass of electro chemical
    components if you stop and think of it.
    taking that into account it would be simple to then
    understand why if some idiot stick there
    figure into an outlet to get maybe an unexpected event?
  6. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    I think you are responding to the OP's use of the word "doubt"
    here. I've noticed that "doubt" is often used instead of "question"
    by non-native English speakers. It's easy to imagine how this
    can happen since they are synonyms in some circumstances and
    are probably shown that way in translating dictionaries.

    So, no doubt he has plenty of questions!

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
  7. David Bowler

    David Bowler Guest

    [ snip ]
    Or, no question he has plenty of doubts!

  8. rgb

    rgb Guest

    I allways concidered myself as an 30k to an 2MOhm resistance ;-).
  9. electricked

    electricked Guest

    Best way to find out is to test youself ;-)
  10. Ben Bradley

    Ben Bradley Guest

    The body has capacitance to ground. Any two conductors in the
    Universe have capacitance between them. AC current flows through a
    capacitor. Current will flow from the socket through your finger to
    the rest of your body, and then flow capacitively to ground. You may
    or may not get shocked, electrocuted or burned depending on the
    voltage and frequency at the socket. If voltage and frequency are low
    enough, you won't notice anything.
    I do,
    but the Usenet tradition is someone posts a question on the
    newsgroup, and someone else posts a response on the same group so
    everyone can read it. When it comes to Usenet, I'm a traditionalist.
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