electromagnetic pulse

noun
Updated on: 11 Apr 2018

Definition of electromagnetic pulse

: a pulse of high-intensity electromagnetic radiation generated especially by a nuclear blast high above the earth's surface and held to disrupt electronic and electrical systems
  • Any nuclear bomb detonated high above the atmosphere bathes the area below in a powerful electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that is likely to burn out delicate electronic chips, transistors, computers and power and communication systems. The pulse happens at the speed of light, covering an entire continent.
  • —William Broad
abbreviation EMP

Recent Examples of electromagnetic pulse from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'electromagnetic pulse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of electromagnetic pulse

1951


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