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Re: Death Row HV Question
Original poster: "Jim Lux by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>" <jimlux-at-earthlink-dot-net>
Recall, though, that in this application, they take pains to get a good low
impedance connection to the "load" (salt water soaked sponges, etc.).
I'll guess the total load impedance is around 100-1000 ohms, so the current
would be in the few amps range.
A pulsed discharge might not kill you outright. It would possibly stop
your heart, and then you'd die from heart failure, much as occurs in many
lightning strike cases.
While you might (!) survive a direct connection to a pig, there being a lot
of variables (maybe, you might just burn your fingers off...) it's not
something you'd want to count on.
I'd venture to guess that heart failure would be the most common cause of
death due to electrocution, as opposed to, say, ohmic heating (burning up),
but, I am sure there is some variability.
A significant cause of electric shock injury is actual mechanical trauma
due to involuntary muscle contraction. If you are climbing that power
pole, and hit the wire, convulse, and fall 50 feet to the ground, the fall
would kill you if the shock didn't. On a more relevant to TC note, if you
inadvertently get non-lethally shocked, the startle/jerk response might
cause you to seriously cut or injure your arm/hand, etc.
Interesting sidelight (tesla related, even)... Edison and Westinghouse were
in a battle over how electrical power should be distributed. Westinghouse
was using the AC technology developed and licensed from Tesla. Edison
claimed that AC was more "deadly" than DC (lethal current IS lower for AC
at 50-60 Hz than DC), and got the NY legislature to use AC on the electric
chair. Rumor has it that he agitated for the term "Westinghoused" to refer
to the "execution by AC electrocution" process.
Tesla list wrote:
> Original poster: "by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>"
> Hello List,
> You know, I have been wondering what they typically feed the dreaded
> electric chairs. That is, what kind of voltage and amperage are we talking
> about here? Will a pulsed discharge kill you faster than just getting hit by
> your PIG? Is a blow from a Pole Pig a definite death sentence, or is it
> possible to survive such a nasty shock? On which part of the body would
> most fatal place for me to take a shock? Perhaps from one hand to the
> would the head be the worst place to be hit. I'm not trying to be a sick
> but I am curious. Thanks to all who have the stomach to answer.