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Difference between alternating current and permanent current when using on skin
5 years ago

Physics Question asked by Sasha

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To answer this question it`s important to understand the difference between an Alternating Current and a Direct Current ("permanent current").

An AC current flows like a sine wave and will switch directions back and forth. DC current on the other hand will only flow in one direction at a constant value.

As DC currents flow continuously in one direction direction, when you experience a strong enough electric shock from a DC current you become unable to remove your hand from the thing shocking you.

AC current, however, is thought to cause continuous contractions of the muscles which is very bad for your muscles. Also, due to the way the electricity passes from the source into your body in an AC circuit (in a capacitive way) the size of the current and voltage shocks you receive can be significantly greater from an AC shock.

Therefore it would be fair to say that AC current is more dangerous, but both can cause harm and you should always be careful around electricity.
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