What Are Some Nuclear EMP Effects on Society?


Quick Answer

The societal effects of an electromagnetic pulse blast resulting from a nuclear detonation are devastating and can include a complete loss of power over a large range, such as an entire city or more. Almost all unshielded electronic equipment would instantly cease functioning in such an event. Power lines would fry, causing the collapse of the power grid and all utilities associated with it.

Continue Reading
Related Videos

Full Answer

If strategically detonated, the EMP of a nuclear bomb could eliminate the power of an entire country. When detonating a nuclear weapon, a higher altitude is important if the effects of the electromagnetic pulse are desired. This is because the source of the EMP electrifies the atmosphere, vastly expanding the original area of effect. In an EMP scenario, starvation would be the largest immediate threat to survival due to the lack of refrigeration and transporting of goods. Society would face chaos from looting, violence, and an overall lack of organization after the disaster; the length of the struggle with these elements would depend upon the amount of time necessary to repair the scope of damage. While nuclear bombs are capable of producing powerful EMP blasts, the sun is also able to generate a strong enough magnetic field during a solar storm to affect electronic equipment on Earth. It is believed by experts that such a solar event is inevitable. Large transformers and dampers, which act as sponges for electricity, are possible safeguards to the dangerous EMP phenomenon.

Learn more about Particle Physics

Related Questions