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Thread: Why does a nuclear detonation in the air create...

  1. #1 Why does a nuclear detonation in the air create... 
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    ...an electromagnetic pulse? Is it some kind of link between the SNF and EM under the detonation circumstances? What exactly causes the EM pulse?


    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  3. #2  
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    A high-altitude nuclear detonation produces an immediate flux of gamma rays from the nuclear reactions within the device. These photons in turn produce high energy free electrons by Compton scattering at altitudes between (roughly) 20 and 40 km. These electrons are then trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field, giving rise to an oscillating electric current. This current is asymmetric in general and gives rise to a rapidly rising radiated electromagnetic field called an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Because the electrons are trapped essentially simultaneously, a very large electromagnetic source radiates coherently.


    Compton scattering occurs when the incident x-ray (or gamma ray)photon is deflected from its original path by an interaction with an electron. The electron is ejected from its orbital position and the x-ray photon loses energy because of the interaction but continues to travel through the material along an altered path.

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    ----These electrons are then trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field, giving rise to an oscillating electric current. ---

    Sounds like the mechanism of a magnetron.


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