Episode 10: 1.21 Legowatts

Science off the Sphere

Astronaut and chemist Dr. Don Pettit does physics demos that are out of this world. Currently on board the International Space Station, Dr. Pettit presents fantastic physics that can only be demonstrated in micro-gravity.


Episode 10: 1.21 Legowatts

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Challenge Question: Why is a 120 Volt wall socket dangerous but Don can safely touch the 30,000 Volt leyden jar?

Challenge Answer: It's current that kills, not voltage. Voltage just provides the means to which current flows.The 30,000V Leyden Jar may have a potential of 30,000V, but it holds very little charge, which means the current will be extremely low (a Van de Graf is not a source of usable electricity - the current it can generate is far too low to be useful). The 120V wall socket though has plenty of current behind it,making it deadly.

Challenge Winner: James (No Last Name), Vancouver, BC