We Asked a Military Expert How Scared We Should Be of an EMP Attack
Electromagnetic pulses, or EMPs, usually show up in pop culture as a temporary way to disable electronics. In Ocean’s Eleven, one knocks out a casino’s power supply during a heist. In the Matrix movies, an EMP is a CGI energy blast that Morpheus uses to stop the Sentinels from attacking Zion.
In real life, however, EMPs are a potential threat to national security.
First imagined as a troubling after effect in the wake a nuclear attack, EMPs have recently reemerged as non-nuclear e-bombs that silently attack precious electricity. A burst of energy that fries electronic circuits within a blast radius, an EMP could theoretically knock out a power grid if it were large enough. That in turn could send a major city back to the Stone Age, or knock out a strategically significant military installation in an instant. [Read more…]