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EMP

(ElectroMagnetic Pulse) A natural or man-made burst of electric or magnetic energy in the atmosphere. With frequencies below the light spectrum, a nuclear bomb, lightning strike or a device designed to emit such a pulse are sources of an EMP. A massive solar eruption (solar flare) can also disrupt communications satellites.

Weaponry specifically designed to target an area with an EMP have been speculation for decades; however, regardless of the type, the distance from the source to an electronic device determines the damage.

Data Protection
Hard drives, SSDs and flash drives are susceptible to EMP damage, whereas optical discs are not. In order to survive an EMP, drives should be stored in a protected container (see Faraday cage).



Faraday cage

A shielded enclosure used to block electric fields from reaching its content. Constructed of metal, the cage conducts current on its exterior but prevents it from reaching inside. The Faraday cage was invented by physicist Michael Faraday in 1836.

Home-made cages are made by wrapping a cardboard box with aluminum foil or using metal garbage cans or anti-static bags. Items placed inside can also be wrapped with layers of aluminum foil. See EMP and Farad.



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