Ohm’s Law

Why don’t birds or squirrels on power lines get electrocuted?

In order to get electrocuted on a bare wire, a bird would have to be in contact with objects that had two different voltages. The difference in voltage along the wire over the distance between the animal’s feet is very small. The animal would be in danger only if it made contact with both a high-voltage wire and the ground or a wire connected to ground (low voltage). Then there could be a large current through its body.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Physics Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App