Originally Posted by messenger13
So you would hold the leads to a 12 volt / 600 amp circuit? Really?
I guess I learned something today...
Absolutely. You are making the same mistake most people with minimal electrical training do. Your battery is capable of hundreds of amps if the load resistance is low enough.
The source of an electrical current can only control the voltage, not the current. The resistance of the LOAD is what determines the current (amps).
The source will supply whatever voltage it is, but may be CAPABLE of thousands of amps, depending on the load resistance. So in this case, you may have a 12 volt 600 amp capable service, but the circuit amperage is determined by whatever is hooked to it. Look at it this way: Your battery is capable of a couple hundred amps easy on a short circuit, but it powers the instrument light bulbs which only "draw" a few milliamps. The starter on the other hand will draw probably 40-80 amps depending on the starting load and speed.
The formula is volts/resistance=amps. If you measure your body resistance from one hand to the other you will typically get something between 100,000-1,000,000 ohms resistance, usually over 200,000 ohms. So with a 12 volt supply the current would be 12 microamps (0.000012 amps) at the lowest resistance. At 100,000 ohms to get just one amp flow would require a voltage of 100,000 volts. (Volts=amps X restance)
Actually, you have to get up usually well over 50 volts to be able to feel it. Grab the leads of your heating system thermostat supply, which is 24 Volts AC, which has peak to peak voltage of around 34 volts. You won't feel it.