Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tesla Coils: Not So Shocking?


How did those two guys in the Electricity Battle not kill themselves?


There's this incredibly cool video circulating around the internet right now of two guys in Queens, Belfast having an electricity battle using Tesla Coils.  We here at the Institute de Factos Boringo (IFB) had to watch it like nine times.

While the awesome coolness of this display cannot be overstated, one has to asked why didn't these two cats pop like hot bacon on the stove?

So What's the Answer?

Insulation.  The electricity these guys are playing with is generated by Tesla Coil.  Tesla coils produce a lot of voltage without a lot of energy and so are not as likely to kill you.  They are still generating electricity though and so there is an upper limit to the exposure the human body can take.  Worse, the juice from a Tesla Coil doesn't evoke a response from the human nervous system so it's possible to do yourself a lot of damage without knowing it. 

These guys, who call themselves "The Lords of Lightening," are wearing what amounts to a Faraday Cage.  You've seen Faraday Cages in movies where the bad guys don't want their radio signals tracked.  It's basically a wire mesh that absorbs or breaks up electrical impulses.  The girders in the grocery store just down the street from our IFB headquarters acts as a Faraday Cage breaking up cell phone signals and assuring that we always arrive home with the wrong cheese.  With the Lords of Lightening, the suits are probably wire or chain mail under rubber.

So, The Lords of Lightening are managing to play with potential fatal amounts of electricity by having it pass over, rather than through their bodies.  It is pretty wicked cool.

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