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Components of a circuit that build up charge.

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Stunning Technology

Stunning Technology

Credit: Yamashita Yohei
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66035780@N00/345024180
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Considered non-lethal weapons, electroshock weapons stop assailants by disrupting the functions of surface muscles. Operating as high-voltage, low-current devices, stun guns are able to stop even the most determined attacker. The electroshock weapons can be highly dangerous in untrained hands despite being labeled as non-lethal weapons.

Why It Matters

  • Stun guns are low ampere devices. Most stun guns deliver 1 to 2 milliamperes. This is significantly lower than the 1 ampere current needed to fatally injure someone.
  • High voltage is needed in electroshock weapons to pass through heavy clothing and skin.
  • Improper usage of these types of weapons have resulted in fatal injuries.
  • Other variants of stun technology include stun belts, electroshock batons, and liquid-based electroshock weapons.

Credit: U.S. Military
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:M26_Taser.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Stun guns can be fatal weapons if used improperly [Figure2]


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Using the information provided above, answer the following questions.

  1. Why do stun guns need to be low current instead of high current?
  2. How can a stun gun produce 1 million volts when it is only powered by a 9-V battery?
  3. Why does the voltage from a stun gun need to be high in order for it to be effective?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Yamashita Yohei; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66035780@N00/345024180; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: U.S. Military; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:M26_Taser.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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