MadSci Network: Biophysics

Re: How can a man conduct high current through his body at 200 v with no injury

Date: Mon Sep 27 22:23:02 2010
Posted By: Kevin Reed, Engineer
Area of science: Biophysics
ID: 1285126839.Bp


It's a very showy video, but their observational controls are 
nonexistent. In truth, there's no way to actually know what's going on 
there, and my first thought is that this was an elaborate hoax, as I've 
seen illusions performed to similar effect by magicians on stage.

The skin resistances measured with the multimeter are within normal 
range, depending on the individual and the amount of sweat on the skin 

It's possible to survive electrical current, even high levels of current, 
but typically those instances are impulsive current such as short-
duration lightning strikes or high-frequency power. In those cases, body 
impedence is higher than skin resistance and the charge tends to stay on 
the body's surface. 240 volt mains don't fall into either category, but 
it might be speculated that the person in the video has a very large 
internal impedence. But without actually measuring what's happening under 
controlled conditions, there just is no way to say.

The conventional wisdom of electrical shock is discussed at length on Wikipedia, and 
some further interesting bits are preneted by OSHA, All About 
Circuits and, for the case of lightning discharge, some
 of my Mad Scientist colleagues.

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