Physics: Principles with Applications (7th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0-32162-592-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-32162-592-2

Chapter 19 - DC Circuits - Questions: 1


The difference in potential between the feet of a bird is small, but the difference between a power line and the ground is larger.

Work Step by Step

When a bird lands on a wire, the voltage drop between its 2 feet equals the voltage drop across the wire between the contact points. The wire has a small resistance, so this voltage drop is small. When a ladder connects the ground and a power line, there is a large potential difference between its two ends, from the high-voltage wire to ground (zero voltage). This large potential difference could result in a large current through the ladder.
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