Physics Photo of the Week

Warren Wilson College

September 17, 2004

The tangled power lines due to Tropical Storm Ivan prevented the timely display of Physics Photo of the Week.

A Progress Energy worker is repairing the power lines near the pedestrian bridge. 

Notice the 3 orange flexible cables dangling between the high voltage cables.  These wires provide conductive short circuits to prevent shock hazard to the utility workers in case the power lines were to become inadvertantly activated.  If the lines were to become activitated, the electrical current would take a "short-cut" through the short circuits, thus blowing a fuse and de-activiting the lines and preventing serious injury to the electrical workers should they come in contact with the lines.

Our sincere appreciation is expressed for the utility workers who come out in bad weather to work under dangerous and hazardous conditions to restore electrical power in a timely manner enabling us to enjoy our basic services (
refrigeration, water pumping, lights, computers, TV/radio, and video games).  Many thanks to the electrical workers!

Physics Photo of the Week is published weekly during the academic year on Fridays by the Warren Wilson College Physics Department.  These photos feature an interesting phenomena in the world around us.  Students, faculty, and others are invited to submit digital (or film) photographs for publication and explanation.  Atmospheric phenomena are especially welcome.  Please send any photos to

Click here to see all Physics Photo of the Week for 2004.