What type of electricity hurts more: Alternating Current (AC) or Direct Current (DC)? In this video, electronics hobbyist Mehdi Sadaghdar answers this question by running each type of current through his tongue (an excellent conductor!) and letting us know what different voltages feel like. Besides being informative, he’s quite funny as well. Please do not try this at home.
For some background, in alternating current (AC), the flow of electric charge periodically reverses direction. The power coming out of your wall socket is in alternating current. Because this current switches back and forth in direction, it pulses. This is why Sadaghdar’s tongue is wiggling at 2:53.
In direct current (DC), the flow of electric charge is only in one direction. You’ll find this kind of electricity in batteries, fuel cells and solar cells. Because the positive and negative terminals of a battery are always, respectively, positive and negative, the electric current always flows in the same direction between those two terminals.
Bottom Line: Which hurts more, Alternating or Direct Current electricity? Mehdi Sadaghdar answers the question but running electricity through his own body and giving us feedback.
Emily Howard, Producer and On-Air Host, helps create EarthSky audio and video science products in English and Spanish. You might hear her voice on an EarthSky 90-second podcast, or on EarthSky 22, your weekly 22 minutes of science and music from Austin, Texas. Emily oversees the scheduling and production of EarthSky en Español’s audio, video, and online content. She is responsible for setting and enforcing deadlines, and reporting on product development. Emily graduated with honors from the University of Texas with a major in History (focus on Latin American Studies) and a minor in Spanish. She further cultivated her Spanish skills while living abroad in Valparaíso, Chile, and traveling extensively throughout South America, Mexico and Spain.