Why do people say that the current kills you, not the tension?

Because this saying – although extremely misleading – is not totally wrong.

The little part of truth here is that actually the flowing load carriers are what causes the damage and kills you in case of doubt.And flowing charge carriers have a name: electricity.

The misleading thing about the saying is that it makes people believe that tension is harmless.And this is definitely completely wrong and also extremely dangerous – life-threatening!

In fact, it is the case that load carriers do not move from A to B on their own – a force is necessary for this.And this power has a name: tension. D.H. there is no current without a force (voltage) forcing the charge carriers to do so.

There is also a formula that shows the relationship between stress (V), resistance that a material opposes the flow of charge carriers (R) and the current of the flowing (I): I = U/R.In words: the current through a body becomes higher when the voltage rises and lower when the resistance increases.

From this we can now conclude knife-sharpthats that we need a way for the load carriers through a body, with the lowest possible resistance.Best through the heart, because this is at the same time quite sensitive in terms of the reaction to electricity and quite deadly when it no longer pumps blood.

This works best with the current through the heart when the two lines of different voltage touch with both hands or left hand to right foot or right hand to left foot.Since people usually wear shoes on their feet in everyday life, which are comparatively poorly directed (high resistance – little electricity), the greatest danger of the tensions in the household is the contact with both hands. So if your electrician works with one hand in your pocket, then this is a safety measure and not a bad behavior 🙂

With really high tensions, shoes are no longer enough, because the soles will eventually break through and then nothing saves you.

But why can you find videos on YouTube where people come into contact with hundreds of thousands of volts without causing you more damage than badly fitting hair.So tension is harmless?


These people are protected against high voltage by two factors:

  1. On the one hand, people stand on a pedestal (so that you can see you better!) which is again extremely well insulated (extremely high resistance- extremely small current), so that no current can flow.

Most of the time, the insulating effect of shoes would be enough, but this could reduce the spectacle because of 2.:

  • And in addition, the voltage source is so powerless that it can only provide a high voltage when no current is flowing – or only the extremely small amount that is necessary to charge the body.
  • If a current is actually flowing, then the voltage of these generators immediately collapses and the danger is over.


    Is it possible to get a power line with 1 volt through the 100000 amperes flowing?Yes: it doesn’t matter how many charge carriers flow through the line – crucially, the 1 volts aren’t enough to generate a harmful current through your body. For example, you can touch the poles of a 9V battery with your two hands completely without danger (but the tongue bizzelt it :-))

    Is it possible to touch a Van de Graaff generator 鈥?/a> Wikipedia, which can generate hundreds of thousands of volts, but only currents in the A range?Yes, if they are built for it (like the ones in the video). You can also make them life-threatening – so better ask beforehand.

    Can you touch the two brown and blue wires in the socket with both hands – that’s only 230V?This is clearly life-threatening. You can survive that, but you don’t have to. Such a line in the household can deliver up to 16A and that is a multiple of what is deadly.

    Finally, parts that could even lead to tension should never be touched!

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