Electricity & Megnetism

Electric shock, a real danger

Electric shock, this one can even kill.

Electric current is the orderly movement of charged particles. If we observe microscopically, we can see that these particles are actually in disorderly motion, as they have random motion due to the thermal agitation to which they are subjected.

Electric shock is caused by the electric current that passes through the body of a human being or any other type of animal. Its occurrence can even cause death, depending on the intensity of the electric current, so you must be very careful with sockets, bare wires and even the electrical power distribution network, as they are very dangerous and have high power to electrocute a person. people.

What determines the consequences of the shock is the intensity of the electric current, that is, the value of the current. Remember that electric current is measured in the International System of Units in amperes. Some studies on this phenomenon have revealed the consequences of some approximate values, see:

      • Current from 1mA to 10mA can only cause a tingling sensation; 
      • Currents between 10 mA and 20 mA can cause a painful sensation;
      • Currents greater than 20 mA and less than 10 mA cause breathing difficulties, can cause death by suffocation if not rescued in time;
      • Currents greater than 100 mA are very dangerous with high power to kill, as they attack the heart directly, causing it to work in rapid contractions and irregularly, it is called cardiac fibrillation; 
      • Currents that are greater than 200 mA no longer cause cardiac fibrillation, but cause severe burns and cardiac arrest.

Voltage is not a determining factor for the phenomenon of electric shock. In some situations, although the voltage is relatively large, the electrical charges involved are very small, and as a result the electrical shock produced does not present any risk. This occurs, for example, in the Van de Graaff generator, used in teaching laboratories. However, voltages that are relatively small can cause serious damage, depending on the body’s resistance. The human body has a resistance of approximately 100000 Ω with dry skin, with wet skin about 1000 Ω. In other words, it is concluded that you cannot play with electric current, as its consequences can be fatal.

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