The Second-hand Science of Electro-Magnetic Pulse EMP

Posted by Doug_Huffman 1 year, 11 months ago to Science
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Reading Galt’s Gulch On-line archives, I noticed the EMP Swamp Creature being raised as a boogerman. Here’s a book, short and sweet. Maybe I’ll go find Glasstone on EMP.



Scholars like Garet Garrett, John T. Flynn, and Murray Rothbard have pointed out that a main way the State adds to its power and tyrannizes over the people is to whip up alleged threats from a foreign power. Given the threat, defenders of the State say, don’t we need to take countermeasures, however high the cost? Those of us who grew up in the ‘50s and ’60s remember vividly the “drop drills” that prepared schoolchildren for an impending nuclear attack.
The government neglected to tell us that America was far better armed than the Soviets. The “threat” was concocted to justify a militarist policy and massive government spending.

In this careful study, David Hathaway has given us a microstudy of the Orwellian State’s technique to add to its power.

On July 8, 1962, an atomic warhead was detonated in the Pacific. One purpose of the blast was to study the impact, if any, of ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP) effects. One incident is alleged to show such effects. Based on this incident, the government concluded that hostile powers could use EMPs to disable the electronic infrastructure of our country.

Even after the Cold War ended, the government has continued to tout the threat posed by EMPs. Hathaway comments: “The alleged incident happened on the island of Oahu which is made up of the City and County of Honolulu. This incident has developed a cult following within the EMP science community. The incident allegedly involved blown fuses in a small number (less than 1%) of street light strings. It has been trotted out for decades as the single definitive proof of EMP effects on power grid and long-wire infrastructure.”

Hathaway isn’t convinced. He presents a painstaking discussion of the incident, subsequent investigations, and the science behind EMP effects. He writes clearly about complicated science, and his conclusion is backed by abundant evidence: “EMP is a ridiculous notion; one that we are supposed to give up our money, our common sense, and our freedom to validate.

From the state’s perspective, there is always some area of life where people haven’t yet developed the proper level of panic to make them tolerate the forced filling of state coffers in relation to that area. There is always something new to fear that the public can’t quite grasp without the government to ratchet up its fears.”

David Hathaway deserves our gratitude for his excellent and timely account of a little-known propaganda campaign by the State.

​Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. ​Chairman and Founder of Mises Institute
​Auburn, Alabama ​December 15, 2017
SOURCE URL: https://www.amazon.com/EMP-Hoax-David-Hathaway/dp/1983751758

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  • Posted by $ Commander 1 year, 11 months ago
    The only event's I've seen on mass wire distribution system affect is that of mass coronal ejections.

    A friend of mine coordinated 5 FBI investigatory cells involved in potential "terroristic" events around 10 years past. EMP was never an issue. Most of the investigatory effort involved hazmat, trucks and trains.
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    • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
      An ancillary $#!tty little job in my career was maintaining our inventory of resources for Joint Army Navy Nuclear Accident Capability program, now obsolete disestablished.

      Otherwise, I made mixed hazardous chemical radioactive waste, talk about a sheboondoggle! Try disposing of that! The process fluid went through a heavily shielded gamma detector so I could watch counts rise and dump before it became ‘radioactive’. We could see the Sun position in the sky in the gamma counts.
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  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 1 year, 11 months ago
    Nuclear attacks suck for sure. I have not studied the presence of an EMP from a nuclear detonation.

    However, making a strong EM field does work. It can destroy electrical devices. It can even stop electronically controlled engines. If you don't think so, test your cell phone to Mil-Std-461G RS105.

    You can construct such a wave with a Marks device and parabolic reflector.
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  • Posted by CaptainKirk 1 year, 11 months ago
    Interesting Take... I did not read the book yet, but I will challenge that a MOVING EM Field/Wave will NOT induce a current in a wire.
    We have Tesla lighting lights wirelessly. So we know the field travels.
    We have PLENTY of small tests proving this, and the protective nature of a faraday cage.

    Now... How damaging? Not sure. The real challenge is "IF" they cause an overload that blows a BUNCH of transformers.
    Because we only have so many of them, they are ALL made in China (from what I understand). And our powergrid has NEVER been taken completely offline.
    I don't know that they KNOW how to bring it back up!

    I believe it may be a threat. But I will try to read the book. Inducing a current in a wire is a "thing" and an EMP pulse would do that. Not sure about distance/effectiveness...
    It would be nice if we knew what happened in Japan. Yeah, those hit the ground... But were any airplanes electronics taken out?
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    • Posted by $ Thoritsu 1 year, 11 months ago
      This is not so. A strong electric field WILL induce a current in a wire, and it WILL destroy low voltage electronics for sure. I have watched it happen.

      Yes, a Faraday cage will help shield, but cell phones, wifi devices and lots of other things have antennas, and are not shielded.

      Where are people getting the idea that this doesn't work? A radio fundamentally worked by inducing a voltage in an antenna. A bigger field, a bigger voltage. This isn't complicated.
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    • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
      So Faraday’s Law of Induction doesn’t apply. A changing magnetic field cutting a conductor does not induce a potential?

      In HS, Santa Clara HS ‘66, I built a 2 kW Tesla coil and was required to build it’s room size Faraday Cage with interlocked door. Tubes were 750 TL and the coil was 6 feet long. I don’t recall the ratio.
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      • Posted by CaptainKirk 1 year, 11 months ago
        Maybe I poorly worded my 1st sentence.

        I am CHALLENGING that it WONT induce a current...

        Hence we learned about Faraday cages which showed that the current runs on the OUTSIDE of the conductor. But it IS INDUCED.

        And if a Moving EM Field induces a current, then EM Pulses exist. The question becomes how damaging could they be?
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        • Posted by $ Thoritsu 1 year, 11 months ago
          They can smoke microprocessors all day.
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          • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
            “They” what smoke microprocessors?

            A long time ago and far far away, I was adding reactivity to an unfluxed untested reactor core. I had a very sensitive instrument suite inside an imperfect Faraday cage of 2” thick HY-80 steel alloy mostly under water. I exercised my authority to command the local vessels and airfield shutdown their radars which electromagnetic pulses were interfering with my very precise indication.


            How about saying some physics sounding words.
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        • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
          The rate at which the B field oscillates back and forth across the conductor loop.

          How many conducting loops are there in a conducting sheet, as a Faraday Cage surface? It is not quite infinite.
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  • Posted by oldtk 1 year, 11 months ago
    We have known for ever that the "EMP" was a fictional thing. There might be some local effects but nothing like the scifi writers want to depict. It certainly could not be used as a weapon or prelude to invasion.
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    • Posted by lrshultis 1 year, 11 months ago
      Did not a mig25(?) come into military hands from a soviet deserter and puzzle our military as to why the soviets were using vacuum tubes in the plane's electronics? As far as I remember, it was decided that the soviets had measured the effects of EMP in their h-bomb tests before the Johnson Island (?) US air burst that was latter reported to worry the military about EMP damage to the solid state electronics in US planes.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 1 year, 11 months ago
    I would to give an example of a mild EMP. About 7 yrs ago during a large thunderstorm with lightening where I live, while working outside the spinal stimulator generator that i have implanted in my hip below the skin for subduing pain in my back and legs turned off. I had to go back inside to get wireless controller to turn it back on. Then run back outside to put away my yard equipment while the storm was still raging and again the generator shut off. Very strong electrical discharges creating a large magnetic fields could potentially turn off or damage medical implants.
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  • Posted by Burtb0 1 year, 11 months ago
    I have also seen EM effects on electronics.
    I wonder if any other tests have been done to test the effects of EMP over a 20km radius area.

    I would hope that such a test would be kept behind a security wall so that NK or Iran would not be able to learn from this.

    We may never know, because while there are legitimate reasons to classify such research, there could also be the natural tendency of Bureaucracy to grow.
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