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Essay by   •  December 24, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  783 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,020 Views

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A Taser is the more commonly known form of a stun gun, a device that used to deliver a high voltage shock that temporarily immobilizes another human being. Typically, a stun gun is used by law enforcement personnel, but ordinary citizens also use stun guns as a means of self defense. Stun guns are simple electrical devices that are cheap to produce and serve as an effective non-lethal weapon.

A stun gun is composed of several simple electrical parts. The most important part of a stun gun is the power source. Typically, a standard nine-volt battery is used as the power source and generally lasts for many uses. A stun gun produces a high voltage shock at a very low current. In order to produce such a high voltage, a transformer is used to increase the battery voltage to several hundred thousand volts. Of course, energy is never created or destroyed. Therefore, although the voltage has been increased, the power output from the nine-volt battery is not changed. This means that the current is decreased, proven by the power formula which states that power equals current multiplied by voltage. Once the voltage has been transformed, it charges a capacitor. A capacitor is similar to a battery in that it stores a certain amount of charge at a specific voltage. However, unlike a battery, a capacitor can release its entire charge in a short amount of time. The capacitor allows the stun gun to administer a large amount of charge very quickly to the victim. Since the battery cannot unload charge like a capacitor can, it takes several seconds for the capacitor to recharge before it can be used again. All the parts of a stun gun form a circuit which is completed by the body of the victim. In order to pass the charge into the victim, a positive electrode is used. The charge then flows through the victim and back into the circuit though the negative electrode. The body of the victim is essential to the completion of the electrical circuit; without a complete circuit, the function of the stun gun is useless. All of this charge is controlled by a trigger, which is a basic switch that allows the charge to flow through the victim by completing the circuit inside the stun gun.

Another main part of a stun gun is an oscillator; which is used to create a pulse in the charge being delivered to the victim. The pulse generated by the oscillator is similar to the electrical pulses that the human body uses to function. The body works by the brain sending electrical signals to body parts triggering body functions(Harris 1). The charge delivered to the body mimics these electrical brain signals and over stimulates the muscular and neural systems(Harris 2). This over stimulation causes the body to change its blood sugar to lactic acid. Without blood sugar, muscles have no energy, which causes temporary loss of muscle control and brain function(Harris 3). While the discharge from a stun gun is described as very painful, the function of the stun gun relies solely on the loss of muscle control rather than pain.



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