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David Blaine Survives One Million Volts Always On. But How?

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David Blaine spent 3 days and nights wearing a chainmail bodysuit designed to protect him from standing in the middle of a million volts of streaming current from 7 tesla coils. The feat was announced as Electrified: One Million Volts Always On. Why was this feat safe? This article will explain.

The event occurred on Manhattan’s Pier 54 located on the West Side of town. It concluded safely for Blaine on Monday, October 8, 2012. People from a number of foreign countries viewed the event. Examples of the foreign venues included Beijing, Tokyo, Sydney and London. Previously, Blaine rehearsed the event with a lower voltage.

Blaine has survived each previous daredevil event to emerge unscathed for a growing entourage of loyal fans. This time, the event required fasting to clear his body of all wastes. In addition, tubes were available to provide water and to eliminate waste over the pendency of this spectacular three day event.

Blaine wore a chainmail suit or faraday suit which acted as a barrier between his body and the electric current. The behavior of an enclosed conductor when placed in an electric field is such that, charges will be fairly distributed along the periphery of the conductor. An opposing field is created within the conductor. The opposing field cancels or negates the external field leaving the interior of the conductor essentially devoid of any electrical field.

At bottom, this aspect of the faraday suit made the experiment safe for Blaine. In addition, he wore a wire helmet, a visor to protect the eyes and protection for the ears. Scientists were concerned solely about whether or not the chainmail suit would decompose from the elements. In this case, the chainmail suit held up.

Otherwise, the experiment was deemed to be safe as far as the electrical component. Physically, Blaine was required to stand for three days. During this time, the likelihood of circulation problems increased due to the lack of mobility.

Blaine’s experiment has implications for protecting people who work in a setting
where there are high volts and danger to the skin from exposure. In addition,
OSHA requirements for wearing safe clothing exist to protect workers from harm.

Although this experiment was entertaining, novices should not attempt to recreate it because the scientific precautions to protect the participant from harm are considerable.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.
  • Tom

    million volts and tesla coils? that sounds almost like a science fiction. amazing story.