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Author Topic: If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?  (Read 8800 times)

karen brown

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karen brown  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi naked peeps

While watching one of those American cop shows we were all wondering this:

If I am out with my husband, holding hands, and he gets tazered with so many thousand volts, would we get half the volts each? Would he take the full force? Or would I suffer more being the last in line for the shock?

I'd like to assure you all that my husband isn't likely to get
tazered!!

Thank you - looking forward to hearing you again on Sunday :o)

Karen from Essex

What do you think?


 

Offline Chemistry4me

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If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #1 on: 16/04/2009 13:42:27 »
No, I don't think you will, not unless you touch the area between the two probes where the electricity travels.
 

Offline LeeE

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If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #2 on: 16/04/2009 14:25:27 »
Yes.  I think that if you're just out walking hand-in-hand and get tasered you'd be more than just a little surprised.
 

Offline graham.d

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If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #3 on: 16/04/2009 17:42:01 »
I think you would certainly notice, but the idea is that most of the current flow is between the two probes.
 

Offline ukmicky

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If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #4 on: 16/04/2009 22:42:22 »
It would depend on what you were wearing on your feet, If you were not insulated you would recieve a shock but not as strong as his.
 

Offline graham.d

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If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #5 on: 17/04/2009 10:26:26 »
Why ukmicky? The taser has two wires with a voltage between them. There should be no significant current flow back via the earth otherwise the guy firing the taser would get a shock too.
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #6 on: 17/04/2009 10:57:38 »
So if a bank robber took a hostage by the shoulder and then got tasered would the hostage be able to move away with ease? Or not at all? Maybe a closer study into this matter is needed...?
 

Offline graham.d

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If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #7 on: 17/04/2009 16:56:22 »
Yes, probably. I don't think the hostage would be unduly affected unless they were both in a naked embrace. Even then I suspect that effect on the person not directly zapped would not be rendered disabled.
 

Offline ukmicky

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If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #8 on: 17/04/2009 17:37:08 »
I saw it on TV on one of the U.S Cop shows, the police tazered someone whislt another cop was in contact and he also recieved a shock but nothing to the degree of the Target.

I dont know WHY to be honest as i would have thought that in order to complete the circuit it would have no need to travel through the second person, even if he were grounded.

This is quite funny

 

lyner

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If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #9 on: 17/04/2009 18:35:06 »
It isn't enough to say that the current "travels between the two contact points. The main flow is in a straight line between but current flows radially around each probe in the same sort of (3 dimensional) pattern as the field lines between two bar magnets (a N pole brought next to a S pole) - if you remember your School stuff. The probe points need to be separated by a finite amount so that you don't just 'frazzle' one small localised region - nearby nerves need to be affected by the spreading out of the current flow.
If there is a particularly high resistance  path between the two points - say one probe hits a strip of insulating clothing - the path of the current could be very different and, if another person were touching the victim in two places (grabbing hold of two arms, for instance) they could get a tingle because the voltage could be a sizeable fraction of the total Tazer volts.
 

Offline graham.d

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If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #10 on: 17/04/2009 21:13:55 »
Exactly, but the chances of it being anything sizeable is very small, particularly as the taser is designed to penetrate clothing. As the taser points are not far apart the electric field (from a dipole) falls off as the cube of the distance. You don't need much of a shock to notice, but it takes a fair bit to disable you.
 

lyner

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If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #11 on: 17/04/2009 22:40:56 »
I think that the likelihood is that you could get a shock due to some slight imbalance in resistance in the two legs of the tazer circuit. That could appear as a significant voltage difference across two points on the victim's body / clothing.
 

Offline cedar_tree

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If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #12 on: 18/04/2009 03:12:17 »
yes, if your hands where full of sweat. no if you ran away from the electrical firing squad.

i proved this by holding a wimshurst machine contact before charging it with a whirl. Then as I spun the machine the electrodes sparked next to my fingers, my brother willow was shocked by touching me.

static electricity could kill you easily.
« Last Edit: 18/04/2009 03:21:15 by cedar_tree »
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #13 on: 18/04/2009 03:16:59 »
Well you'll get shocked anyway if this 50000 volt taser was used.
 

Offline thedoc

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Offline evan_au

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Re: If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #15 on: 29/06/2012 12:39:43 »
I think the biggest risk is if one of the probes misses your partner, and hits you. Then you will feel half of the voltage.
 

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Re: If my partner is hit by a taser, will I be shocked too?
« Reply #15 on: 29/06/2012 12:39:43 »

 

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