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Electromagnetic pulse

In telecommunication, the term electromagnetic pulse (EMP) has the following meanings:

  1. The electromagnetic radiation from a nuclear explosion caused by Compton-recoil electrons and photoelectrons from photons scattered in the materials of the nuclear device or in a surrounding medium. The resulting electric and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges. May also be caused by nonnuclear means.
  2. A broadband, high-intensity, short-duration burst of electromagnetic energy.

Note: In the case of a nuclear detonation, the electromagnetic pulse consists of a continuous frequency spectrum. Most of the energy is distributed throughout the lower frequencies between 3 Hz and 30 kHz.

Source: from Federal Standard 1037C in support of MIL-STD-188 and from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

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