I was watching this interview with Richard Feynman on Youtube, (Watch it from 3:55 onward): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO0r930Sn_8
Now he mentions that the reason why one's hand doesn't go through the arm of a chair (or anything 'solid' for that matter) is due to electrical forces of repulsion.
So what I comprehend from that example (correct me wherever I'm wrong), is that two separate bodies can't technically 'touch', at least not at the atomic level, and their inability to come in 'contact' (very strictly speaking) is due to the electrical repulsion that is produced between them.
Now this seems like an excellent explanation (well, it did come from Feynman here), but it wasn't long before I had began having doubts....
I don't think this really counts as an 'experiment', but earlier this week I was handling an insulated copper wire maintained at about 120 V (Don't ask me what I was trying to do then....hint: Electrolysis) which has a plastic jacket that's barely 0.5 mm thick. Since there was current flowing through the wire (and a fairly good amount of it too, I guess..), from Feynman's explanation, I'd expect my hand to be repelled by the wire, even a teeny tiny, just discernible force of repulsion, would've been sufficient to convince me of Feynman's explanation, but obviously ('obvious' from common experience) that did not happen.
It wasn't that I was actually expecting the wire to repel my hand, but doesn't this count as proof against Feynman's statement?
So did Feynman give us an oversimplified explanation, or is there something I didn't take into account in my "experiment" ?
Edit: Also, would I actually experience a force of repulsion (by 'experience' I mean actually 'feel' the repulsion as I grab hold of it) if I were to grab a small sphere that has a net charge of (say) a milli-coloumb ?