Science Experiments: Zapping Different Lightbulbs With A Taser

October 26, 2016


This is a video of the Crazy Russian Hacker zapping a handful of different lightbulbs with a taser to see what happens. That is my kind of experiment: I'm not sure what's going to happen, and it sounds pretty dangerous, let's do it! Some of the bulbs light up, some burn out, but none explode. I don't really understand electricity at all except touching live wires makes your hand feel funny, but I was expecting at least one explosion. Now I'm left wanting more. You know what else left me wanting more? Breakfast. "You had the Farmhand's Feast." I know, and it wasn't big enough. "It's like 8,000 calories!" What if I told you I was a half-giant like Hagrid? "I'd say you're just tall and fat." That would be accurate. Now punch me in the belly like King Hippo in 'Mike Tyson's Punch-Out,' I need you to shift some organs around to make room for more sausage patties.

Keep going for the video.

Thanks to Johann, who told me if I could withstand eight minutes of repeated tasering he would induct me into the Secret Brotherhood Of Nikola Tesla. I'm ready.

  • GeneralDisorder

    That's not a taser. A taser shoots a wired projectile that sticks into the skin. This is a stun gun (where electronic defense weapons are concerned the gun doesn't shoot stuff the taser does).

    Anyway, if you know anything about electricity this result shouldn't be too confusing.

    The incandescent bulbs require a steady stream of 100 watts. The stun gun if it's rated around 500,000 volts is usually super low amperage. Something like 0.0005 A current. To get 500,000 volts from a 9V battery you're gonna need to use capacitors which means it's pulsing that 250 watts of output at a frequency too low to keep the bulb lit. Since you're pushing far more voltage than you need to and running super low amperage the filament doesn't glow bright but it does heat up to the point of failure. Or alternately the wires that hold the filament might arc across.

    The fluorescent tube could have been more interesting. But you'd have to run a high voltage conductor from the prongs of the stun gun to opposite ends of the bulb. It would likely short out rapidly but it would have been brighter than just zapping one end.

    And... finally... when you put the stun gun sideways across the fluorescent tube the glass acts kind of like a capacitor. That's why you hear the much louder but less frequent snaps when he does that.

  • K.

  • GeneralDisorder

    L. M. N. O.

    I am not an electrical engineer and I most likely oversimplified that.

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