Human body as a conductor

It is well known that touching the mains supply is fatal. This is because our body conducts electricity. At the same time you cannot light an LED from a drycell by using your fingers to make the connection. We can explore this further using the low voltage AC and DC sources of ExpEYES.


To study the electrical conduction of human body



The observed voltage waveforms are shown below. The voltage on A2 is slightly less than 3volts, due to the resistance of the body.



Using DC the voltage reaching A2 is smaller, which means that body conducts AC better than DC. The voltage measured at A2 is decided by the ratio of the resistance offered by the body and the input impedance (1MΩ) of A2. The phase difference between the two waves implies that there is some capacitance present in the circuit.

Is the conduction happening through the surface of the body or through the blood stream? How to answer this question? What is the salt content of blod? Try measuring the resistance of salt water. What is the role played by the skin?

There could be some ripple due to the 50Hz AC pickup. This can be eliminated by performing the experiment far away from power lines, using a laptop.