EMP question.

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by quaser, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. quaser

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2012
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    Hello!!

    I wanted to know if an emp can distrupt a simple flashlight (incandescent or led... if there might be a difference, please elaborate) at about 10 feet away.

    Will it only flicker the bulb or will it simply not make it work?

    What will be the physics behind it?.... will it affect the battery source or will it affect the filament inside? what will happen in case of led light?

    Do let me know abt the feasibility of this thought...

    {Inspiration:- After watching ocean's 11 emp scene... i just couldn't digest the idea of the lights going out... i mean what about the standby generator.}

    P.S:- A simple schematic for the "Torch Take-down Device" will be appreciated. Since RavenPhoenix mentioned about lighting a bulb... I thought it can even distrupt it.
     
  2. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    I know it can't hurt an old style incandescent bulb flashlight.

    The new LED type probably would be damaged by an EMP. Most semiconductor devices are vulnerable to it.
     
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  3. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Mostly MOSFET-based devices are vulnerable to EMPs, due to the thin layer of insulation between the gate and the doped silicon. A surge of voltage/current will melt the insulation, thus causing it to not work. Most ICs use microscopic MOSFETs, so they too are vulnerable. Bountyhunter, you are correct--an EMP will not do a thing to an incandescent light bulb flashlight. But it probably won't affect an LED flashlight either unless it uses a driver circuit with a FET or IC.
     
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  4. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    Raise your hand if you know "Ocean's Eleven" is a work of fiction and thus not bound by the laws of physics.

    Of course, if you choose to believe you can turn off all the lights in even a small city with a small box of glowing green liquid then there is no way you're listening to me now anyway.
     
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  5. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Interesting:

     
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  6. quaser

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2012
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    Solid Information !!! But the quickseek link not working.. do you have anoher link?
     
  7. quaser

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 22, 2012
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    Ok.. I guess if i want to visualize it... during an emp, the incandescent flashlight might flicker , but will still function after the emp has stopped.. am I right?
     
  8. praondevou

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 9, 2011
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    This is all theory. Anyone can prove that no incandescent light bulb flashlight under no circumstances can be affected by any EMP? I don't think so.
    What if wires/metal parts inside the flashlight have just the wrong length?

    The exact power and frequency distrubution of an EMP can hardly be predicted, right?

    @Quaser: You will have to try it out ;)
     
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  9. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    It doesn't matter. The energy in an EMP pulse is microscopic, the only way it can damage anything is if there is an antenna which can capture a signal and create a voltage high enough to do harm to the device. Semiconductors can be easily damaged by pulses of very low energy content, which is why they always warn about careful ESD handling because walking across a carpet can pick up enough energy to easily kill an IC. The reason an IC can be harmed is because it looks like a high impedance and the tiny energy discharge can create sufficient voltage to break down the internal structure of the device.

    An incandescent lamp has no high impedance anything in it: it is literally a bunch of wire and a battery. Even the bulb itself is a piece of wire. There is just nothing there which is sensitive to any kind of low energy HV discharge.

    And for the record: I do not think an incan light would "flicker" from an EMP because there is nowhere near enough energy to make the filament glow.
     
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