Making Electromagnetic Weapons: The Theory Behind EMP Generators

Business Insider – For the sake of example and metaphor, let’s say electrons “live” in conductive wire. When a magnetic field passes by the wire, it excites the electrons and they begin to move. Once the field stops moving, so do the electrons. This concept is the primary way we generate electricity; using coils of wire and powerful magnets. If you’ve ever seen those “shake” flashlights, the little silver cylinder that’s being shaken is actually a powerful magnet moving past a coil of copper wire, exciting electrons. An EMP generator follows the same concept; a high current pulse of electricity is released through a single or double loop wire antenna, creating an intense magnetic field that, in turn, excites electrons in any metal in the range of the magnetic field. This creates a large voltage surge in the surrounding electronic components, and effectively fries any sensitive transistors, ICs, etc. There are two ways an EMP generator can create a magnetic field; either by a very powerful single-pole pulse, or a less powerful fluctuating-pole pulse. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, a single pulse EMP takes much more current than a flux-EMP, but has a larger range and less components. Since in a flux-EMP there must be an alternating (fluctuating) magnetic field, it requires power transistors to switch the current’s polarity through the coil, and also hall effect sensors (magnetic field sensors) as well as an IC. Read Article

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