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I've read on the Internet that wearing plastic shoes doesn't allow electric charges we collect from our environment (PC, TV, appliances) to be earthed.

Is this reasoning correct?

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migrated from Dec 21 '12 at 0:38

This question came from our site for scientific skepticism.

and rubber soles (like found on most shoes) would do the same – ratchet freak Dec 20 '12 at 10:55
I think the problem is more about the friction between the rubber/polyurethane soles and the floor that builds up static charge. – Duralumin Dec 20 '12 at 11:36
I'm not entirely sure this is on topic here, but let's see what the community thinks. – David Z Dec 21 '12 at 0:46
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, the reasoning is correct as long as electric potential you're touching isn't very-very high and the plastic is normal (Conductor plastic has been invented).

Electricity flows from higher potential to lower potential via a conductor. Earth is zero potential and Human body is a good conductor which allows electricity flow when we touch anything at positive potential with naked feet. Normal plastic, rubber etc are bad conductor of electricity which disconnects higher potential from lower one. But, remember, a bad conductor can't hold if potential difference is very high (meaning, the point you're touching has very-very high potential).

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Thanks a lot for your exhaustive answer but does it mean that using appliances I accumulate charges in my body when I dress plastic shoes? :) – Surfer on the fall Dec 22 '12 at 20:43
@Surfer No. Charges can't enter in the body when its not connected with lower potential. – Evil Angel Dec 25 '12 at 17:02

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