Tuesday, April 5, 2011


The mechanism for a 400 km high altitude burst EMP: gamma rays hit the  atmosphere between 20–40 km altitude, ejecting electrons which are then deflected.

General Definition - Electromagnetic pulse

In addition to other effects, a nuclear weapon detonated in or above the earth’s atmosphere or alternatively an E-Bomb (see below) can create an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), a high-density electrical field. EMP acts like a stroke of lightning but is stronger, faster and briefer. EMP can seriously damage electronic devices connected to power sources or antennas. This include communication systems, computers, electrical appliances, and automobile or aircraft ignition systems. The damage could range from a minor interruption to actual burnout of components. Most electronic equipment within 1,000 miles of a high-altitude nuclear detonation could be affected. Battery powered radios with short antennas generally would not be affected.

Although EMP is unlikely to harm most people, it could harm those with pacemakers or other implanted electronic devices.

An Air Force spokesman, who describes this effect as similar to a lightning strike, points out that electronics systems can be protected by placing them in metal enclosures called Faraday Cages that divert any impinging electromagnetic energy directly to the ground. Foreign military analysts say this reassuring explanation is incomplete.

What can be done? 
See Web Page on Faraday Cages

See Web Page on EMP Other Practical Advice
 and also latest news in Washington Times August 19, 2003 commentary ("The blackout next time").

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