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Overkill
04-23-2008, 12:05 AM
I am wondering what materials one would need to build an EMP bomb big and powerful enough to take out a small city ..........

Higgins
04-23-2008, 12:14 AM
I am wondering what materials one would need to build an EMP bomb big and powerful enough to take out a small city ..........

You mean to knock out all the electronics in a small city? It's not going to hurt people...I mean the EM pulse will not hurt them in itself.

Limiting the damage to a small city might be hard since surely the easiest way to send out a big EM is to use a big nuke.

Using a bomb isn't necessary: a big tunnel and a big magnet moving fast will do it.

Tornadoboy
04-25-2008, 05:55 PM
I am wondering what materials one would need to build an EMP bomb big and powerful enough to take out a small city ..........

Personally I don't know a whole lot about EMP bombs, other than it would take an ENORMOUS amount of electricity to be able to take out an entire city, and thus some pretty heavy-duty and expensive electronic components.

Here's a link to some sets of plans that can be bought for building smaller versions of EMP weapons which may give you an idea as to what it might look like:

http://www.amazing1.com/emp.htm

Leva
04-29-2008, 08:05 AM
Personally I don't know a whole lot about EMP bombs, other than it would take an ENORMOUS amount of electricity to be able to take out an entire city, and thus some pretty heavy-duty and expensive electronic components.

Here's a link to some sets of plans that can be bought for building smaller versions of EMP weapons which may give you an idea as to what it might look like:

http://www.amazing1.com/emp.htm

There's actually a way to do an EMP with high explosives. It's actually NOT that expensive to do, in the grand scheme of things.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Explosively_pumped_flux_compression_generator

Though, if you wan to do some serious damage on a national level, one good-sized nuke several miles above Kansas would do it nicely. We'd be back to horses and buggies in a millisecond.

-- Leva

Mac H.
04-29-2008, 02:23 PM
Nah - it would be hard to do real damage.

An EMP pulse will shutdown electronics with no problem - it is a basic phenomena called 'latch-up' that is the main problem.

It is simple to correct for almost all devices, however - simply power cycle the affected device. It is hugely significant in warfare, however, because rebooting your flight computer may not be a good idea when you are flying along at Mach 2!

You can easily get a normal device (say your watch) to 'latch-up' - just kludge a piezoelectric 'gas lighter' to generate a spark (without gas) and zap the thing you want to test. Causing latch-up of a security system is a handy way to get them to fail.

I know it isn't IDENTICAL to a real EMP pulse, or even particular similar .. but it is close enough for the sake of imagination. (EMP will have a much bigger high frequency component, due to sharper transients)

A cheaply designed device could damage itself when it latches up, but most modern devices would be fine.

There is another affect which will induces currents into loops of wire - this is also a problem. However, if it is generating enough current to burn out an electric motor, then you've probably got bigger problems that that .. I've microwaved an electric motor for about 8 seconds successfully, just to prove it. (Lots of pretty sparks, but it survived! My microwave is still good as well. I was too much of a coward, however - I was aiming for 10 seconds but chickened out.)

The main power would probably cut off, simply because the electricity grid is a classic case of a 'loop of wire', and safety switches are designed to trip if current flows in the wrong way.

There would be infrastructure damage with a handful of transformers that will get themselves killed, but it would be a surprise to see any widespread lasting harm, however.

Mac
(PS: For the sake of fiction, however, a 10 kiloton bomb would do nicely. It's fiction, after all.

In reality, a 1.4 MEGATON bomb (Starfish Prime) caused damage to a handful of streetlights and an outage of telephones for about half an hour for an Hawaiian Island about 800 miles away)

Shwebb
04-29-2008, 02:59 PM
I'm quite sorry to have to do this--you may shout "censorship!!" if you like--but given the sensitivity of this subject, I'm going to close this thread. I understand that the information here would be used for a novel, but I don't want some crazy nut-job to wander in to use it for his/her own evil World Domination Plans. ;)

Feel free to disagree with me via PM, if you wish.

dpaterso
04-30-2008, 11:40 AM
Thread(s) re-opened after modly discussion.

That discussion, not surprisingly, touched upon liability, morality and security issues in posting how to make a bomb type questions here.

But since this kind of stuff is already all over the internet -- a Google or Wiki search is likely to yield results that go into all kinds of technical detail -- there's no point in shutting off the subject.

I guess it's like everything else posted here -- the usual disclaimer applies, the Absolute Write Water Cooler owners cannot accept any responsibility for material posted by or the opinions of individual members, etc.

-Derek