Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2002 00:46:04 -0800 (PST)

Author: William Beaty

Subject: Re: VDG/Tesla coil


On Wed, 6 Feb 2002, Richard Berg wrote:

> Bill,
> I presume that you are correct about the skin depth for wet meat, but it
> sure surprises me. How could this guy pass enough current that it would
> start wood burning, but not be injured?

Go get your quarter-watt resistor collection. Hook a 1-ohm resistor in
series with a 100-ohm resistor. Now pass 1 amp through the chain. What
happens to the two resistors?

> Is there some way that he could
> have been conning the video - done something that he didn't tell
> about? Do you have any idea how much power the body can actually pass at
> these frequencies before you know it immediately? Or how long might
> someone last after doing this regularly? Any helpful references?

I haven't seen any numbers. I suspect that those bright TC sparks are on
the order of hundreds of milliamps, or even a few amps (compare them with
the arc from a 50mA neon sign transformer.)

I think the problem is with the metal terminals touching your skin. If it
burns you going in and burns you going out, yet the "wet meat" below the
skin doesn't even get warm... it still hurts like hell.

I've seen people wear large metal cuffs wrapped around wrists, with the
wrist-cuffs connected to thimbles worn on fingertips. A glove made of
tight-fitting chainmail might work better (especially if your hands were

On the other hand, I've discovered that my joints would ache after I kept
my hands on a large "plasma globe" for too long. This was a museum
exhibit device, and it could warm the palm of your hand very slightly.

Once the high-frequency current is going through the wet meat, maybe it
finds low-resistance pathways which contain tiny regions of high
resistance (so you'd create tiny hotspots deep inside your body.) Yeesh.

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William J. Beaty SCIENCE HOBBYIST website
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