Minerva wrote:If you disassemble a disposable camera's flash, it's possible you'll get shocked by the still-charged capacitor if you touch its leads.
That'll teach you to trifle with forces you can't possibly understand.
Just be careful and use common sense. And the shock isn't life-threatening
. Just know your limits - if you're an epileptic, have a pacemaker, or have heart problems associated with or leading to arrhythmia, just don't be working with shock devices in the first place.
I've disassembled disposable cameras before, and with a minimum of being careful you never even need to get shocked.. Just discharge the capacitor right before you open it up by using the flash, and you'll be fine. Failing that, short out the leads right after you open it up. A old screwdriver or pair of insulated pliers works perfectly. My friends who have been less careful and did in fact get shocked merely said that it was painful and not a happy experience, but hardly something to discourage them from trying to figure out how things work.
Furthermore, I'd hardly call it a force you can't understand; 1) There are markings on the capacitor that tell you the exact specs of them are; 2) any high school physics course will give you a good understanding of the principles behind capacitors. We're talking stored electricity here, not a loose thermonuclear bomb.
There are dangerous things that really ought not to be tried, like disassembling a microwave machine while it's still operating, and there are less dangerous things that you can try and learn a lot from without risk to life and limb.
After all, how would science have progressed if people were sissies and feared any force they didn't understand?
Hydrostatic equilibrium makes the world go round.