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I was playing around with the oscilloscope and noticed when I measure between two points on my hand, I see about a 1 V signal at about 60 Hz. Do I oscillate at 60 Hz? Does this have anything to do with lighting or main's hum?

Where does this 60 Hz signal come from?

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marked as duplicate by Harry Svensson, SamGibson, Marcus Müller, Andy aka, CL. Nov 3 '18 at 20:14

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    \$\begingroup\$ "Where does this 60 Hz signal come from?" You may be standing too close to North America. \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Nov 2 '18 at 22:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Felthry, I do that all the time, too. \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Nov 3 '18 at 19:09

The wiring in your walls acts like one plate of a big capacitor, with your body being the other plate, picking up mains-frequency noise and coupling it to the oscilloscope probe. It's completely normal.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you twist your body and wave your arms, thus affecting which arm the electric field enters and which is the exit, you can control the amplitude and the polarity, if you trigger the scope on "LINE". \$\endgroup\$ – analogsystemsrf Nov 3 '18 at 5:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the word antenna is to be avoided here. The AC wiring acts like a plate of a capacitor would be my approach. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Nov 3 '18 at 18:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka Perhaps that is a better way of putting it. I'm not sure the exact mechanics of it, but now that you bring it up, I'm pretty sure an antenna that would pick up or transmit 50/60Hz would be measured in kilometers. And I don't know anyone who's quite that tall. \$\endgroup\$ – Hearth Nov 3 '18 at 18:27

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