Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Philip_cw_H, Sep 9, 2002.

  1. Philip_cw_H

    Philip_cw_H Auditioning

    Aug 16, 2001
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    I was reading a book about a hypothetical nuclear excange between the US & USSR and it got me thinking about. Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). I know what it is & basically how it works. But...

    1. Can it be created other than with a nuclear weapon, like in Ocean's Eleven (2001)?
    2. I know it damages/destroys electronics, but how exactly?
    3. I know it can be shielded against, but with what materials?
    4. With regards to computers and data, does it just stop a computer from working (power supply, processor) or does it also affect the hard drive (erases data)

    This is always my first stop for all sorts of information so I bet I can find some answers here. Thanks.
  2. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

    May 23, 2000
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    1. Yes, non nuclear EMP devices have been created and tested. Its possible to create an EMP device (flux compression generator) with a few explosives, access to a machine shop and certain electronics.

    2. Well, as you probably know, a current in a wire causes a magnetic field. Likewise a magnetic field applied to a wire causes an electrical current. EMP devices generate a huge electromagnetic field. Collectors, such as long runs of cable, house wiring, conduit, large antennas, overhead power and telephone lines, railroad tracks, etc., gather the electromagnetic energy produced by the source in the form of a strong current and voltage surge frying devices attached, much as if hit by lightning. The same happens on a smaller scale inside computer chips and circuits, melting transistors.

    3. A faraday cage will shield against most forms of EMP. Basically its a conductive shell around your device. Obviously the connection into and away from the device through the shell is a weak point.

    4. The hard drive might also be erased, as the electromagnetic field is simular to holding a magnet to the drives. However since most hard drives are inside metal shells, its hard to say. The controller might be shot in any case though, keeping the data inaccessible.

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