a question about electricity?

my teacher explained to us the other day that if there's a wire and electricity is passing through it and you grab it with one hand while wearing rubber shoes nothing happens but if you grab it with both hand you create a circuit and you get shocked, but why doesn't the electricity just travel around my fist? like going from the tip of a finger to the other one?

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  • 8 years ago
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    The teacher's statement, if you reported it correctly, is incorrect and misleading.

    I'd phrase it as following: if you have a wire with a potential on it, ie, a voltage, with respect to ground, and you touch it while wearing rubber shoes, you will not get a shock. Doesn't matter if you grab it with one hand or two. If your shoes were not there, you could get current flowing from the wire to ground via you feet. Otherwise, the insulation would block any current.

    If you have two wires with a potential between them, and you touch one wire with each hand, you will be shocked, if the potential (voltage) is high enough. Even wearing rubber shoes. This is because the current flows from one wire to the other via your body.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    As you stated it, you are correct, HOWEVER I believe you mis-quoted your teacher. The first part is correct, but in the second part, if you are holding the wire in one hand and touch a GROUNDED OBJECT, (or an object at a different electrical potential), with the other hand, then yes, you WILL get shocked, since your arms are completing the circuit.

    Source(s): Over 60 years training and experience in electronics, have been an Industrial Electrician, broadcast Engineer and have an Extra-class Amateur (Ham) license.
  • 8 years ago

    I think the teacher was trying to emphasize to you that you never handle bare electrically energized wires with both hands. You never touch any two electrically energized metallic parts with both hands.

    It is possible for there to be enough voltage difference between any two electrically energized metal items, be it wire or contacts or a metal surface, that enough current can flow into your hands and arms to shock you or kill you.

    It's hard to describe this danger with just words and pictures.

    Find a master electrician and ask him to explain this to you in person.

    Your school district might have an electrician in its maintenance staff or might contract that out to a local licensed electrician business, so ask the principle.

    You can also look in the phone book for electricians and ask your parents if you can talk to one.

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