# doubts in basic elctricals

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

1. ### sanjeevGuest

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.

2. ### Bob MyersGuest

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., etc...you 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. ### Sir Charles W. Shults IIIGuest

That is certainly not good- electricity and electronics is a very
clearly understood pair of disciplines, at least from the standpoint of
physics.
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.

Cheers!

Chip Shults

4. ### Sir Charles W. Shults IIIGuest

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.

Cheers!

Chip Shults

5. ### JamieGuest

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 MastaGuest

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
www.daqarta.com

7. ### David BowlerGuest

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

DCB

8. ### rgbGuest

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

9. ### electrickedGuest

Best way to find out is to test youself ;-)

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.