Police Mistook Her Vitamins For Drugs. She Then Spent 5 Months In Jail. In pulse detonation engine pdf-themed television shows, books, and movies, many different scenarios to explain the collapse of society and the end of the world have been imagined. Except in this instance, the nightmares are very much based on reality.
In fact, there are two different scenarios—one related to natural events, the other to intentional human action—under which an electromagnetic pulse could indeed bring modern society crashing to the ground, and both are considered likely to occur at some point by experts who study the question. Given the fact that the electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, does present a real danger to all of humankind, it is incumbent upon all of us to learn as much as we can about the nature of this threat. An electromagnetic pulse is a massive atmospherically-conducted current of electricity that in certain circumstances would be capable of destroying every electrical power system, as well as every electric or electronic device or appliance, within range of its point of origin. As many people may already be aware, one potential cause of an EMP is a nuclear explosion.
In order for a nuclear bomb to create an EMP, however, it must be exploded in the earth’s atmosphere at a sufficient enough height for the gamma rays it emits to interact with the earth’s magnetic field. That’s why the bombs that were dropped directly on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for example, did not produce this kind of effect. A 500-kiloton single-stage atomic bomb—a type of weapon that has been in existence since the 1950s—exploded 300 miles above the central United States could cause so much damage to our electric and electronic infrastructure that it would all but destroy the nation’s economy in an instant. Even a 100-kiloton bomb, if exploded at the right altitude in the right location, could cause the electrical grid to collapse completely through a chain reaction of systemic failure.
A sudden and unexpected nuclear attack, which could be carried out with surprising ease through a missile launch off the coast of the United States, would devastate power generation facilities, their communications and control systems, and power distribution equipment everywhere. The large transformers that support the power grid would be destroyed en masse, and because neither these transformers nor the parts that would be needed to repair them are manufactured in the U. Stepping back and looking at the big picture, it is clear that we have now become so dependent on microelectronics and digital technology to assist us in meeting all of our basic needs that the collapse of society and the social order in the wake of a nuclear EMP attack would be inevitable—not to mention incredibly destructive and painful. While many nations would be capable of unleashing a devastating EMP against their enemies through nuclear attack, at least there is some hope that sanity will prevail and this kind of event can be avoided. But unfortunately, EMP by nuclear attack is not the only threat we are facing.
Solar storms associated with cyclical spikes in sunspot activity frequently result in an emission of a huge cloud of charged particles from the surface of the sun, and when these clouds strike the earth’s magnetic field the result, just as with a nuclear explosion, is the creation of an electric current that if large enough can cause serious destructive effects. The last of these solar superstorms occurred in 1859, and while there was no electrical grid at the time, early telegraph systems had already been installed and operators reported extensive malfunctions and disruption in services. There is one significant difference between the EMPs produced by the sun and those created by nuclear weapons blasts. Nuclear explosions actually cause three different types of electromagnetic pulses, each of which has different characteristics, while solar storms produce just one of these three varieties. E3 is the type of pulse that nuclear and solar sources each produce. The sheer force of the charged particle collisions that precede E1 and E2 actually knocks the entire magnetic field of our planet out of its normal position, like a pool ball being struck by a cue ball.
It then quickly snaps back into place again, but this oscillation causes the release of a long wavelength electric current that has a lifespan of up to several minutes. While there is no disputing the destructive impact the largest solar superstorm would have on the power grid, and consequently on society and the economy, it turns out that even a smaller storm could have profoundly negative effects. There are precautions that can be taken to protect both the power grid and electronic devices against electromagnetic pulses. In fact, just recently a company called Emprimus developed a new powerful shielding system that could be used to protect the largest transformers from damage caused by sudden surges of power, even those that would follow an EMP. Electronic devices would require some kind of protective box or sleeve made from highly conductive metals like copper or aluminum in order to survive the vicious blast of a nuclear-based E1 current. The best way to protect computers or other kinds of precious electronics would be through the use of a Faraday cage, which offers full shielding from stray electric currents. We have become so dependent on electricity and electronics for our very survival that society would no longer be able to withstand any disaster that took it off-line and off-the-grid.
Those who have already unplugged and are living a self-sufficient lifestyle could be adequately prepared for the effects of a solar-based EMP, as long as they were relying on alternative energy to provide all their power needs. But the one thing we know for sure is that an electromagnetic pulse is coming, and if we are caught unaware and unprepared, in the end we will have no one to blame but ourselves. Newt Gingrich is the only public official who has warned of this danger. Think what this would do to communications, etc of our military! I am sorry beready but you are wrong. The nuclear hardening program was dis-continued in 1992. The chips that were being made by company’s like Texas Instruments were deemed to costly.
I am not guessing here as I was a process engineer for TI for 9 years. The current military will fare no better the you or me. Thanks for your comments on EMP. Will hand crank magneto’s be ok if an EMP hits? Like the old hand crank telephones?
EMP destroys things by arcing between the spaces and gaps in the circuit and melting the wires of other components. The smaller the gaps, the more likely the arcing will melt something. A two-cycle motor scooter, for instance, might survive. There isn’t much there to disrupt. The magneto probably won’t melt, and the wiring is pretty robust.