What is meant by electrically Isolated? (Physics)

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joyoustele
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What is meant by electrically Isolated?
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phys981
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I would take it to be electrically insulated - ie no electrical contact with anything else.
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uberteknik
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(Original post by joyoustele)
What is meant by electrically Isolated?
It means all, or part, of a circuit can operate in a closed conduction path independently without needing to reference ground or to another part of the same (or any other) part of another circuit.

This is either done for safety in high voltage applications or to allow connection to a high voltage circuit where catastrophic failure would result from overstressing components.

Examples are:

a) The closed loop circuit connected to the secondary winding of a transformer where no operational current path exists between the primary and secondary windings. energy transfer is via the magnetic fields of the transformer coils.

b) Battery operated devices with electrically insulated casing when functioning independently. (i.e. not charging through an ac adapter etc.)

c) Optical isolation where information flows between one part of a circuit and another without the need for an electrical conduction path. (e.g. digital circuits using LEDS for transmission and photodiodes for reception etc.)

An analogy would be birds perched on a high-tension pylon are electrically connected to the cable but isolated from ground potential.
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