How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 226

What is the dangerous part of electricity: charge, current, voltage, or what?
Current is ultimately the killer. A current of about 30 milliamperes is potentially lethal when applied across your chest. But your body is relatively insulating, so sending that much current through your chest isn't easy. That's where voltage comes in. The higher the voltage on a wire, the more energy each charge on the wire has and the more likely that it will be able to pierce through your skin and travel through your body. Thus it's a combination of voltage and current that is dangerous. Current kills, but it needs voltage to propel it through your skin.

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