Electro Magnetic Pulse

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Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) effects by e.g. a nuclear explosion and pulse-generating devices may be comparable to geomagnetic disturbances. The resulting electric and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges. Both EMP and Geomagnetic disturbances may seriously affect to undisturbed working of Critical (Information) Infrastructures.


National Definitions

United States

Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) :
1. The electromagnetic radiation from a nuclear explosion caused by Compton-recoil electrons and photoelectrons from photons scattered in the materials of the nuclear device or in a surrounding medium.
2. A broadband, high-intensity, short-duration burst of electromagnetic energy. [1]

Note: In the case of a nuclear detonation, the electromagnetic pulse consists of a continuous frequency spectrum. Most of the energy is distributed throughout the lower frequencies between 3 Hz and 30 kHz.

The term EMP means an electromagnetic pulse caused by a nuclear device or nonnuclear device, including such a pulse caused by an act of terrorism. [2]

Related terms

HEMP: high altitude electromagnetic pulse IEMI: intentional electromagnetic interference NNEMP: non-nuclear EMP

See also