[ExI] North Korea's super EMP Bomb

Amara D. Angelica amara at kurzweilai.net
Fri Jun 17 11:42:19 UTC 2011

EMP from a nuclear weapon in the first E1 stage is generated by the Compton
effect (gamma rays collide with atoms in the mid-stratosphere, the gamma
rays knock out electrons from air atoms, and the electrons produce a huge
current that reaches the Earth. Gamma rays also generate the lightning-like
EMP in the E2 stage. 


I'm unaware of any role of x-rays in generating EMP effects, since they
don't generate currents, and since standard hardening (using metallic
shielding) is designed to counter EMP (but is largely ineffective in
blocking x-rays), I would tend to doubt x-rays are significant threats
(except possibly to chips, I haven't looked into x-ray effects on chips.
Maybe someone else can comment on that.
r_EMP has a good explanation, which also mentions that "there are reports of
"super-EMP" nuclear weapons that are able to overcome the 50,000 volt per
metre limit by the very nearly instantaneous release of a burst of gamma
radiation of much higher energy levels than are known to be produced by
second generation nuclear weapons." That may be related to Timmerman's


I haven't noticed any technical errors with Timmerman's writing to date
(although I haven't looked for them either). He seems to do excellent
factual research. I not qualified to judge his political statements. I have
a background in electronic warfare systems engineering, but I haven't worked
with EMP systems, so I may be missing some key errors in the above



From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of john clark
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2011 9:36 PM
To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
Subject: Re: [ExI] North Korea's super EMP Bomb


This sounds like pure crackpot bullshit to me. EMP is caused by ionizing
gasses in the upper atmosphere and soft X rays, the primary energy output of
thermonuclear bombs, ionizes things just fine, so there would be no point in
using Gamma rays; and the idea of a 3 kiloton bomb " emitting more gamma
radiation than a 25-megaton nuclear weapon" is nuts. I don't think the
author of this article knows much physics,  if you want to make a huge EMP
you don't need a new type of bomb, just a regular old H bomb exploded a few
hundred miles over Iowa would do a pretty good job fucking up the entire

 John K Clark

Read more on Newsmax.com:
6/id/400260#ixzz1PVI06ex6> North Korea Tests 'Super-EMP' Nuke 
Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama's Re-Election?
<http://polls.newsmax.com/repeal/?PROMO_CODE=B683-1> Vote Here Now!

--- On Thu, 6/16/11, Jeff Davis <jrd1415 at gmail.com> wrote:

From: Jeff Davis <jrd1415 at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [ExI] North Korea's super EMP Bomb
To: "ExI chat list" <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Date: Thursday, June 16, 2011, 10:00 PM

On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 5:01 PM, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
> Not QUITE an existential threat until we're all uploaded, but a pretty
> darn big potential threat!
> -Kelly

Can't speak to the credibility issue here, because the author Ken
Timmerman is a neocon, perhaps even an extremist among neocons.
Setting that aside however, and assuming that the North Koreans have
adopted the optimized EMP design -- a minimum nuke with a maximum EMP
-- then I have to give the N Koreans credit: very, very smart play.
Huge deterrence multiplier.  Advanced technological societies must be
assessed as profoundly vulnerable by virtue of their comprehensive
dependence -- infrastructure as well as everything else -- on
electronic systems vulnerable to EMP attack.

Boy, talk about bang for your buck!   Way to go Kim!

Best, Jeff Davis

"We're a band of higher primates stuck on the surface
of an atmosphere-hazed dirtball. I can associate with
that. I certainly can't identify with which patch of the dirtball I
currently happen to be on, and which monkey tribe happens to reside

Only by taking the big view we can make it a common
dream, and then a reality. It's worth it."
                          Eugen Leitl
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