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Tesla coils: how are they doing this?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Originalsin, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Originalsin

    Originalsin

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    This is amazing. Two guys are using Tesla coils to radiate and exchange lightning from themselves. How are they able to do this without being fried? Would they be in insulated suits, or is this one of those weird behaviours of electricity where it runs through you without you being hurt? If anyone can explain it I'd be grateful.

    http://www.wimp.com/electricitytesla/

    Reminds me of a Force battle from Star Wars!

    Cheers,

    Originalsin.
     
  2. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    Lots of volts, low amps. Or lots of amps, low volts. Somethign like that. I've long since forgotten, but they did it on the last Men Who Built America talking about Tesla himself.
     

  3. aircarver

    aircarver Descent Terminated Silver Member

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    This.

    .
     
  4. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    Right the first time. High voltage, high frequency, very low current.
     
  5. fwm

    fwm

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    My guess is metal chain suits, gloves, hoods and boots. Once the charge gets really high, and the resistance low, the repulsive force of the individual electrons force each other to the surface of the conductor, protecting the body inside.

    Without some sort of external conductor, the resistance of the body would be to great to allow all of the charge to be pushed to the surface and the body would carry some of it, probably disastrously.
     
  6. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot CLM

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    It's not the volts that will kill you, it's the amps... High voltage with low amperage.

    [pfft, to slow...]
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  7. Originalsin

    Originalsin

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  8. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    I always liked the "lightning show" at the Boston Museum of Science.

    Also had a teacher in Physics class that took one off the noggin once from a Van deGraff Genny. He forgot he turned it on. We kept telling him it was on. He walked right by. SNAP! Right to the temple. :rofl:
     
  9. Originalsin

    Originalsin

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  10. Atlas

    Atlas transmogrifier

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    Amazing how often this is repeated.
    Ohm's Law will tell you that voltage is the electromotive force without which there can be no current flow.
    "Volts" is the cause, "amps" (current flow) is the result.

    That being the case, it is the "volts" that will kill you.
    To the point you made, and in that context, the two are the same.

    Whether a human is damaged by direct exposure to electricity is a highly variable thing.

    Electrocution is most often exposure to electromotive force (the "volts") in a specific set of conditions which cause the flow of enough energy within the body (overcoming the electrical resistance of the flesh) to disrupt heart functioning.

    Given the right conditions, death may be caused by massive tissue damage, including and especially various essential nerve tissues.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  11. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    He walked away from it.

    He was a bit of a dick to begin with. Waaaaay too arrogant. He told us (1985) that he shook Woodrow Wilson's Hand. He MAY have been born by then, but doubtful. We questioned him, he insisted.

    So at first we were like :wow:

    He staggered away and acted like nothing happened, so for the last 30 years or so, we've (my wife was in the class) been all :rofl::rofl:

    I did begin to learn something in his class that was later confirmed in college: If you spend all of your time trying to convince a bunch of teenagers how awesome your life was, your life wasn't that awesome.
     
  12. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot CLM

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    That is kinda like arguing if it's the velocity or the volume of water that will drown you.

    High voltage with low current is analogous to being hit by a squirt gun. Not a lot of water, but it is moving very fast.

    Low voltage with high current is analogous to someone sitting in a river. Plenty of water, but it is moving slowly.

    High voltage with high amps is analogous to getting hit with a fire hose.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  13. arcadefreaque

    arcadefreaque

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    The Tesla Coil (and other objects operating under similar principles) operates at such a rate that it does not penetrate the body, but travels across the skin's surface looking to ground itself. I've used handheld devices that operate under much the same principle with my body "electrified" by the device for relatively long periods of time, and although the arch of electricity when it jumps to ground can sting a little, it otherwise does no physical harm (other than an occasional itchy sunburn type of thing from long exposure).
     
  14. Annoyedgrunt

    Annoyedgrunt Dry Heat my ASS

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    The one where the guy goes up in the giant birdcage which gets repeatedly zapped with lightning? And all the while with him touching the bars? Good show. :wavey:

    If I remember right, he said that as long as he touches the inside of the bars from in the cage, he'd be alright, because the electricity travels on the outside of the bars.

    That doesn't seem to make sense, though. Wouldn't the electricity travel through the entire bar of the cage, and not just on the outside?
     
  15. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    Amps kill...
     
  16. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

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    I've been tagged with 2500 volts before and while it will wake you up without the amps it doesn't hurt.
     
  17. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

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    No need to worry about amps or volts if you conduct yourself properly and are well grounded in the subject.:supergrin:

    But to devildog2067....I thought that this stuff is "static" electricity, therefore no "frequency" like AC current. Am I missing something?
     
  18. Atlas

    Atlas transmogrifier

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    :supergrin:
     
  19. Atlas

    Atlas transmogrifier

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    Actually, no.
    You're thinking Van De Graaff generator.

    A Tesla coil produces high-frequency AC.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  20. M&P Shooter

    M&P Shooter Metal Member

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    Tesla himself did this in front of a crowd in the late 1800's when he was competing for the Niagara Falls power plant contract against Edison to prove his AC current was safe and more powerful then Edison's DC current which was in use in the late 1800's. Funny thing is that Tesla was Edison's assistant in his lab and came to him with his AC coil and Edison thought it was unsafe and turned him away causing him to quit and start his own company which later was named GE:supergrin: