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# If all the milli-voltages in the human body were summed together, how many volts would the average human being generate?

Question #88209. Asked by tragic_flawed. (Nov 07 07 1:05 AM)

Baloo55th

I don't quite understand this one. Various voltages are generated in the body, but you can't meaningfully add them up. A car battery contains six cells each of 2V (app.) which add up to the twelve you need for the car bacause they are connected in series.Connect them in parallel and you still have only 2V, but the chance to push far much more current than one cell would be able to. The voltages in the body are variable, and often transient, and impossible to connect together without disecting the body, in which case there would be no more voltage.... The human body can generate up to about 3 kV (possibly more) of 'static' electricity - just by pulling a sweater over longish hair (lower voltage from less hair), brushing hair, scuffing feet on certain sorts of carpet - apart from the charge you can get from cars and occasional photocopiers. (I remember one machine that could stick a pile of copies together with static so tightly you couldn't separate them until you earthed them. I didn't put up with that for long...) Currents you can make a sum of. The total current flowing in a human body is a meaningful quantity as it is a measure of electrical activity. Voltages can't be added like this. A voltage isn't a thing as such. It is a potential for something to happen. It's like adding the 20 foot height above ground of one tank to the 20 foot height of ground of another tank and reckoning you have a 40 foot drop. You haven't. You've got more water, but the same drop.

 Nov 08 07, 5:45 PM

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