Voltage and Current – Understanding Voltage and Current


While reading "Electronics for dummies" went through the following block and I realised that I have some uncleared concepts about electricity:

Electrostatic discharge involves very high voltages at extremely low
currents. Combing your hair on a dry day can develop tens of thousands
of volts of static electricity, but the current is almost so
negligible you seldom notice it. The low current prevents the static
discharge from really hurting you when you receive a shock. Instead,
you just get an annoying tickle

I thought that voltage is the driving force that drives current, and the magnitude of generated current depends upon the resistance attached between terminals of a voltage difference, if so then why is there a low current generated by tens of thousands of volts of static electricity? if 220 volts in socket can electrocute then why not this tens of thousands of volt can? the resistance is the same i.e. the body

Best Answer

This is like asking, if I pour a cup of water off a skyscraper, why can't that drive a turbine to produce some meaningful electricity? It's got the gravitational potential, so what's the problem? After all, hydroelectric dams not as tall as a skyscrapers generate many megawatts.

Static electricity can have the capacity to kill. This occurs in nature and is called lightning.

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