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Question How are the electronics inside plastic cell phones and hand held computers protected from externally generated electrostatic fields? -Anonymous, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Answer The electronics inside plastic cell phones and hand held computers may be protected from externally generated electrostatic fields by several factors: 1 - a static electric field does not generally penetrate materials, especially Gaussian surfaces (housings, chassis, etc.)2 - a working commercial electronic device must pass certain safety requirements3 - the Input Output (I/O) connections are generally well protected on a finished electronic device4 - the paths into the device might be more involved (high impedance) and slow the effect of an ESD eventSome things you should watch out for:- Open and direct I/O ports where an ESD event could occur (leading the current pulse into the device to wreck havoc)- dynamic electric fields (when a static field collapses, due to say an ESD event) and where they discharge to- finished electronic devices are still susceptible to ESD events, especially when a metal surface is involved
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