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  • The two types of electric hazards are thermal (excessive power) and shock (current through a person). Electrical safety systems and devices are employed to prevent thermal and shock hazards.
  • Shock severity is determined by current, path, duration, and ac frequency.
  • Circuit breakers and fuses interrupt excessive currents to prevent thermal hazards.
  • The three-wire system guards against thermal and shock hazards, utilizing live/hot, neutral, and ground wires, and grounding the neutral wire and case of the appliance.
  • A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) prevents shock by detecting the loss of current to unintentional paths.

Key equations

Terminal voltage of a single voltage source V terminal = ε I r eq
Equivalent resistance of a series circuit R eq = R 1 + R 2 + R 3 + + R N 1 + R N = i = 1 N R i
Equivalent resistance of a parallel circuit R eq = ( 1 R 1 + 1 R 2 + + 1 R N ) −1 = ( i = 1 N 1 R i ) −1
Junction rule I in = I out
Loop rule V = 0
Terminal voltage of N voltage sources in series V terminal = i = 1 N ε i I i = 1 N r i = i = 1 N ε i I r eq
Terminal voltage of N voltage sources in parallel V terminal = ε I i = 1 N ( 1 r i ) −1 = ε I r eq
Charge on a charging capacitor q ( t ) = C ε ( 1 e t R C ) = Q ( 1 e t τ )
Time constant τ = R C
Current during charging of a capacitor I = ε R e t R C = I o e t R C
Charge on a discharging capacitor q ( t ) = Q e t τ
Current during discharging of a capacitor I ( t ) = Q R C e t τ

Conceptual questions

Why isn’t a short circuit necessarily a shock hazard?

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We are often advised to not flick electric switches with wet hands, dry your hand first. We are also advised to never throw water on an electric fire. Why?

Not only might water drip into the switch and cause a shock, but also the resistance of your body is lower when you are wet.

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(a) How much power is dissipated in a short circuit of 240-V ac through a resistance of 0.250 Ω ? (b) What current flows?

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What voltage is involved in a 1.44-kW short circuit through a 0.100 - Ω resistance?

12.0 V

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Find the current through a person and identify the likely effect on her if she touches a 120-V ac source: (a) if she is standing on a rubber mat and offers a total resistance of 300 k Ω ; (b) if she is standing barefoot on wet grass and has a resistance of only 4000 k Ω .

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While taking a bath, a person touches the metal case of a radio. The path through the person to the drainpipe and ground has a resistance of 4000 Ω . What is the smallest voltage on the case of the radio that could cause ventricular fibrillation?

400 V

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A man foolishly tries to fish a burning piece of bread from a toaster with a metal butter knife and comes into contact with 120-V ac. He does not even feel it since, luckily, he is wearing rubber-soled shoes. What is the minimum resistance of the path the current follows through the person?

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(a) During surgery, a current as small as 20.0 μ A applied directly to the heart may cause ventricular fibrillation. If the resistance of the exposed heart is 300 Ω , what is the smallest voltage that poses this danger? (b) Does your answer imply that special electrical safety precautions are needed?

a. 6.00 mV; b. It would not be necessary to take extra precautions regarding the power coming from the wall. However, it is possible to generate voltages of approximately this value from static charge built up on gloves, for instance, so some precautions are necessary.

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Questions & Answers

Newton's second laws is call with
Dyutee Reply
what is mean by thermodynamics
Prasad Reply
it is study about temperature and it's equilibrium
Its the study of heat and its relation with others kind of energy
state caulombs law clearly
constand Reply
show mathematically that an electron has the greater speed than the proton when they attract each other
ezra Reply
show mathematically that an electron has the greater speed than the proton when they attract each other
@ezra & srikanta; for electrons: a=ke^2/(mr^2) and for protons: a=kp^2/(mr^2)
what is electrostatics
Hero Reply
the study of charge at rest
@Hero; the study of charges at rest is the electrostatics
okay what is electrostatic?
charge at rest
set of character...
Gauss law, electric fields, dipoles,...
A proton initially at rest falls through a p.d of 25000V. what speed does it gain?
Minister Reply
@Minister; use equation v= sq root(2×eV/m)
what is the reaction of heat on magnet
Magnetization decreases with increase in temperature. But in case of diamagnetic substance heat has no role on magnetization.
what is a physical significant of electric dipole moment .
A dipole moment it's a mechanical electrical effect used in nature
what is the uses of carbon brushes in generator
Malik Reply
to minimize heat
at what temperature is the degree Fahrenheit equal to degree Celsius
Grace Reply
Celsius and Faharaneith are different, never equal
find their liners express of n=a+b/T² ( plot graph n against T)
Donsmart Reply
Radio Stations often advertis "instant news,,if that meens you can hear the news the instant the radio announcer speaks it is the claim true? what approximate time interval is required for a message to travel from Cairo to Aswan by radio waves (500km) (Assume the waves Casbe detected at this range )
mahmod Reply
what is growth and decay
Pawan Reply
Can someone please predict the trajectory of a point charge in a uniform electric field????
erlinda Reply
what is deference between strong force and coulomb force
zahid Reply
how do you convert temperature in degree Celsius to Fahrenheit
Celsius x 9/5 +32
Practice Key Terms 3

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 2. OpenStax CNX. Oct 06, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12074/1.3
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