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Thread: Human body as an electric conductor

  1. #1 Human body as an electric conductor 
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    Is human body capable to conduct electrons? If yes, what exactly physics of it?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    Is human body capable to conduct electrons? If yes, what exactly physics of it?
    Electric current will flow through ionized liquids such as human blood and lymph. If current flow (electrons) through the human body coukld NOT occur, electrocution death resulting from electric shock would be impossible; we know it is DEFINITELY possible!

    Electron flow through the very upper portion of human skin is limited by the relative lack of electrolyte there; the deeper the electron flow is within the body, the greater is likely to be it's intensity. One exception to this is the fact that very high frequency alternating currents tend to flow only over the surface of conductors, thus explaing how a person may touch a 100,000 volt Tesla Coil, drawing a visible spark to his fingertip, and experience no shock or pain, unless sufficient time (and current) are allowed for the skin to be burned.

    jocular


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  4. #3  
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    Electric current will flow through ionized liquids such as human blood and lymph.
    How exactly ionized liquids conduct electrons?
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    How exactly ionized liquids conduct electrons?
    I was going to say that it is simply due to the presence of free (i.e. mobile) charge carriers (the ions). But it turns out it is a rather more complex than that. There is a continuous movement of ionization states between adjacent atoms which acts as a sort of "virtual charge carrier" (if I have understood it correctly).

    A breakthrough in our understanding of ionic liquids
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    I was going to say that it is simply due to the presence of free (i.e. mobile) charge carriers (the ions). But it turns out it is a rather more complex than that.
    If I no make mistake the very sense to use ionic liquids and electrolytes in ultracaps and batteries is that they conduct ions but conduct NO electrons.
    There is a continuous movement of ionization states between adjacent atoms which acts as a sort of "virtual charge carrier" (if I have understood it correctly).
    Could you give details on it and maybe some links?
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    If I no make mistake the very sense to use ionic liquids and electrolytes in ultracaps and batteries is that they conduct ions but conduct NO electrons.
    I don't know very much about batteries, and even less about supercaps but electric current does not have to be carried by electrons, any charge carriers will do.
    Charge carrier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Could you give details on it and maybe some links?
    The link I provided is the only article I read on it. There were some other papers that Google showed which may be relevant but I didn't read them.
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    I don't know very much about batteries, and even less about supercaps but electric current does not have to be carried by electrons, any charge carriers will do.
    OK, any other minds on the subject?
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    of course it is, there is currently no limit to the conductivity of a human
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    Source please.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onyxxyv View Post
    of course it is, there is currently no limit to the conductivity of a human
    Dywyddyr beat me to the punch, but I'll second his request: Please provide a reference for the superconducting properties of humans.
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    There most certainly are limits to the amount of current the human body can conduct and still remain a functioning human body. A no longer functioning body could carry a higher load but the current heats the elctrolytes by resistence. Eventually the water boils away and once dry the resistence rises sharply.
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    Moderator Warning: Onnyxxyv, please stop talking crap. At best 10% of your posts are marginally funny. The rest are misleading, off-topic, juvenile, or deficient in some other way. You are welcome on this forum, but as a member who contributes something of value, not vacuous brain farts. Thank you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    But it turns out it is a rather more complex than that. There is a continuous movement of ionization states between adjacent atoms which acts as a sort of "virtual charge carrier" (if I have understood it correctly).
    I was aware that something like this occurs when hydrogen and hydroxyl atoms carry a current through water. The ionisation state of hydrogen, for example, is thought to be transmitted from one water molecule to the next, the water molecules being held in close proximity by hydrogen bonding. This is usually given as the explanation as to why hydrogen and hydroxyl ions have significantly higher conductivities than other monovalent ions such as sodium or potassium. However, I thought that this mechansim was restricted to hydrogen and hydroxyl atoms
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    Is human body capable to conduct electrons? If yes, what exactly physics of it?
    As has been mentioned, electric currents will be conducted through the body by ions rather than electrons, and there is no doubt that the body is a conductor. Quite a small electric current (10 to 30 mA) could have serious effects.
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    As has been mentioned, electric currents will be conducted through the body by ions rather than electrons, and there is no doubt that the body is a conductor.
    I though than in order to affect human body current has to flow through it and there should be closed electric loop. If human body has ionic, but not electronic conductivity, how electrons from a socket or live wire could enter human body? And contra, how ions in human body whenever they flow could enter metal wire to close the loop? Especially if talk about direct current.
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    [QUOTE=Stanley514;439369]
    I though than in order to affect human body current has to flow through it and there should be closed electric loop. If human body has ionic, but not electronic conductivity, how electrons from a socket or live wire could enter human body? And contra, how ions in human body whenever they flow could enter metal wire to close the loop? Especially if talk about direct current.
    If an ionic conductor, such as an electrolyte solution, comes into contact with electrodes across which there is a potential difference, electrolysis will occur. For example, a positive ion will acquire an electron from a negative electrode and become an atom. That atom might then react with the solution or, as in the case of hydrogen, be given off as a gas. Similarly, if a negative ion comes into contact with a positive electrode, the ion will pass an electron to the electrode. In this way, electrons are transferred to and from the electrodes and the electrolyte.
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    If an ionic conductor, such as an electrolyte solution, comes into contact with electrodes across which there is a potential difference, electrolysis will occur. For example, a positive ion will acquire an electron from a negative electrode and become an atom. That atom might then react with the solution or, as in the case of hydrogen, be given off as a gas.
    So, basically human body conductivity is electrolysis and associated with hydrogen production? Definitely human cells suppose to explode under hydrogen production effects?
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    Just thought I'd post a couple of pictures of people that were struck by lightning. As you can see direct current will travel through the human skin and leave a mark of it's passage.



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  20. #19  
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    [QUOTE=Stanley514;439374]
    So, basically human body conductivity is electrolysis and associated with hydrogen production? Definitely human cells suppose to explode under hydrogen production effects?
    Electrolysis doesn't necessarily lead to hydrogen production, although it often does when aqueous solutions are involved. I don't think that the products of electrolysis are the main danger. Damage to the nervous system is probably much more significant.
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    To clarify for Stanley: picture in your mind that as electrons flow through a "loop" consisting of a voltage source having two terminals, and two conductors connected to it. The opposite ends of those conductors are suspended in an electrolyte (liquid) filled container, but do not touch each other. Electron flow, commonly known as current flow, leaves the voltage source through one of the conductors, passes into the electrolyte whereby ions containing electrons move from one conductor to the other, then complete the loop back to the voltage source. (I think). jocular
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    As has been mentioned, electric currents will be conducted through the body by ions rather than electrons, and there is no doubt that the body is a conductor.
    I though than in order to affect human body current has to flow through it and there should be closed electric loop. If human body has ionic, but not electronic conductivity, how electrons from a socket or live wire could enter human body? And contra, how ions in human body whenever they flow could enter metal wire to close the loop? Especially if talk about direct current.
    You've been misled by poorly-written explanations of what electric current is. You probably imagine current flow to be a stream of electrons being "piped" through a conductor. That is a wrong picture, and you should endeavour to erase it from your mind as thoroughly as possible.

    You can calculate that electrons in a wire typically drift at a velocity considerably below that of a human's casual stroll. What travels fast isn't the electrons, it's the force they convey. Once you get that into your head, things make more sense. The force will act on other charges, whether they're electrons or ions. So, when you apply a voltage across a human, the ions in the body are set into motion by the forces exerted by the charges in the voltage source. A conductor is a conductor is a conductor. It matters not what is doing the conducting.
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