# Negative Voltage #2

#### Seanfir

Jul 21, 2021
1
I've been trying to wrap my head around this as well... the whole idea of zero being this concept in reference to other voltages... I mean I measure zero as in zero potential... negative is still energy just on a different side of zero... but the way I've heard it discussed and explained here, I could be electrocuted by something accurately measured as "0" volts... am I wrong? Is zero something that can be moved????

#### Bluejets

Oct 5, 2014
6,860
Mains are referenced to ground so no.
In fact the MEN system is so arranged to make sure mains potential does not rise above ground.

#### hevans1944

##### Hop - AC8NS
Jun 21, 2012
4,875
the way I've heard it discussed and explained here, I could be electrocuted by something accurately measured as "0" volts... am I wrong?
You are wrong. As a new member, did you notice that you are responding to a four-year old thread?

As for electrocution, your body is a fairly good electrical conductor on the inside, being basically a skin sack filled with water solutions containing ions permeating various organs and tissues. It is possible to electrocute anyone by passing a massive electrical current inside, from one end of their body to the other. Electrocution currents are driven by high voltage (NOT something accurately measured as "0" volts...) to overcome skin resistance. Since alternating current is generally used, if one end of the body is considered to be at ground, or zero potential, then the other end must be at an alternating high potential. Voltage is generally applied to the shaved head scalp through a sponge saturated with a saline solution, the sponge being inserted in a head cap containing one of the two necessary electrodes. The other electrode is generally a metal plate clamped to a bare calf. The potential difference, applied between the head and the calf of one leg, is several thousand volts rms at 60 Hz (in the United States) no matter where you reference "0" volts to be. Several hundred amperes are usually available during the execution, enough to literally set the body of the prisoner on fire.

During a execution by electrocution, It is suspected that the initial electrical current tetonizes all the muscles, while the current through the brain renders the prisoner immediately unconscious. However, neither statement is a proven fact since the current is allowed to continue until the prisoner is legally dead: without heart beat. Post-mortem autopsy can verify which muscles have tetonized, but no one knows what goes on in the brain while the body is electrocuted.

A moderator should consider closing this thread, lest it wander off into morbid discussions.

#### bertus

Moderator
Nov 8, 2019
3,263
Hello,

The above posts are moved from a four year old thread:
Negative Voltage

Bertus

#### VenomBallistics

Aug 30, 2018
285
A moderator should consider closing this thread, lest it wander off into morbid discussions.
Before you know it, someone will bring up firing squads armed with 12 gauge shotguns loaded with maggots. Then things really get weird

#### crutschow

May 7, 2021
834
I could be electrocuted by something accurately measured as "0" volts... am I wrong? Is zero something that can be moved????
Not if you also are at "0" volts.
The 0 volt point is just a reference point (typically called ground or common) for all the other voltages in the system.
It has no intrinsic value all by itself, it's just the point where all other voltages are referenced to.
So yes, zero voltage is something that can be moved, as it is entirely arbitrary as to what is called zero volts in a system.

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