electromagnetic pulse


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

Examples of electromagnetic pulse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The planes start with a standard 747 and add state-of-the-art communications, missile avoidance systems, inflight refueling, VIP interior and protections from the electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear blast. Chris Isidore, CNN, 9 June 2021 This rapid movement generates an electromagnetic pulse or EMP. David Hambling, Forbes, 11 Mar. 2021 The weapon should have the ability to fry a target’s electronics with an electromagnetic pulse. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 24 Feb. 2021 But calling 911 would be pointless, because all networks would be destroyed and electronic devices would be rendered inoperable by electromagnetic pulse. Loren Thompson, Forbes, 24 Feb. 2021 Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security, also said China has leapfrogged U.S. developments in electromagnetic pulse warfare. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, 27 Jan. 2021 President Trump has been nominated a fifth time for the Nobel Peace Prize, this time by the leaders of the effort to protect the nation’s electric grid from a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, 3 Nov. 2020 The bombing sequence midway through the film lasts over four minutes, beginning with an electromagnetic pulse that shuts down the power grid and knocks out all the vehicles attempting to flee on the local highway. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 10 Aug. 2020 An electromagnetic pulse is directed into the ground, and any objects or layering (stratigraphy) will be detectable in the reflections picked up by a receiver, just like regular radar. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 14 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of electromagnetic pulse

1951, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for electromagnetic pulse

Time Traveler

The first known use of electromagnetic pulse was in 1951

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Statistics for electromagnetic pulse

Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Electromagnetic pulse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/electromagnetic%20pulse. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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