Published on May 12, 2013
Electromagnetic Pulse Bomb – EMP Weapon
The fact that an electromagnetic pulse is produced by a nuclear explosion has been known since the earliest days of nuclear weapons testing. The magnitude of the EMP and the significance of its effects, however, were not realized for some time.
During the first United States nuclear test on 16 July 1945, electronic equipment was shielded due to Enrico Fermi’s expectation of an electromagnetic pulse from the detonation. The official technical information for that first nuclear test states, “All signal lines were completely shielded, in many cases doubly shielded. In spite of this many records were lost because of spurious pickup at the time of the explosion that paralyzed the recording equipment. During British nuclear testing in 1952–1953 there were instrumentation failures that were attributed to “radioflash”, which was then the British term for EMP.
The high-altitude nuclear tests of 1962 increased the awareness of EMP beyond the original small population of nuclear weapons scientists and engineers. The larger scientific community became aware of the significance of the EMP problem after a series of three articles were published about nuclear electromagnetic pulse in 1981 by William J. Broad in the weekly publication “Science”.