Re: the silent killer? Re: Military backgrounds...

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by pervect, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. pervect

    pervect Guest

    "Peter D. Tillman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > Hmm -- I wonder if a strong-enough EMP pulse would stop a person's
    > heart? Or, more likely, induce terminal fibrillation.
    >
    > A new weapon for sfnal assassins?
    >
    > Cheers -- Pete Tillman


    I think you'll have extreme difficulty getting any currents to pass through
    the heart with an EMP pulse.

    The problem is that a short pulse like an EMP pulse has mostly high
    frequency components. The skin effect (a property of conductors in general,
    not specifically human skin) keeps the high frequencies from penetrating
    very far into the body.

    The relative safety of high frequency current isn't just theory - Tesla, for
    instance, used to put on demonstrations with his tesla coil, drawing huge
    sparks from his body.

    The biggest danger with high frequency (RF or above) electricity is the
    possibilty of painful burns.

    AFAIK, other than nuclear bombs (which are very wide area devices) the EMP
    devices that exist are basically pulsed microwave beams, which opearate by
    burning out the generator.

    There is some possibility for pain and perhaps even damage from intense
    enough microwave sources. But I would not expect that you could get enough
    penetration to affect the heart.

    For an interesting if somewhat bizarre example, the military has been
    investigating a microwave beam which causes painful burning sensations
    (allegedly without actual damage) for crowd control, see for instance

    http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/science/03/02/new.weapon.02/
     
    Tags:


  2. Thanks, Pervect (et al.). I didn't realize EMP's were so hi-freq.

    Cheers -- Pete Tillman


    In article <[email protected]>,
    "pervect" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Peter D. Tillman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    > > Hmm -- I wonder if a strong-enough EMP pulse would stop a person's
    > > heart? Or, more likely, induce terminal fibrillation.
    > >
    > > A new weapon for sfnal assassins?
    > >
    > > Cheers -- Pete Tillman

    >
    > I think you'll have extreme difficulty getting any currents to pass through
    > the heart with an EMP pulse.
    >
    > The problem is that a short pulse like an EMP pulse has mostly high
    > frequency components. The skin effect (a property of conductors in general,
    > not specifically human skin) keeps the high frequencies from penetrating
    > very far into the body.
    >
    > The relative safety of high frequency current isn't just theory - Tesla, for
    > instance, used to put on demonstrations with his tesla coil, drawing huge
    > sparks from his body.
    >
    > The biggest danger with high frequency (RF or above) electricity is the
    > possibilty of painful burns.
    >
    > AFAIK, other than nuclear bombs (which are very wide area devices) the EMP
    > devices that exist are basically pulsed microwave beams, which opearate by
    > burning out the generator.
    >
    > There is some possibility for pain and perhaps even damage from intense
    > enough microwave sources. But I would not expect that you could get enough
    > penetration to affect the heart.
    >
    > For an interesting if somewhat bizarre example, the military has been
    > investigating a microwave beam which causes painful burning sensations
    > (allegedly without actual damage) for crowd control, see for instance
    >
    > http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/science/03/02/new.weapon.02/
    >
    >
    >
     
  3. Pete Connors

    Pete Connors Guest

    The p in emp in fact generates a very wide spectrum of em. The very
    first emp observed during a high altitude test over the South Pacific
    affected *power lines* as far away as Hawaii.
    But I suspect that being close enough to induce any currents in the
    human body would be very risky for lots of other reasons...

    On Tue, 2 Sep 2003 23:06:11 -0700, "pervect" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Peter D. Tillman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]
    >
    >> Hmm -- I wonder if a strong-enough EMP pulse would stop a person's
    >> heart? Or, more likely, induce terminal fibrillation.
    >>
    >> A new weapon for sfnal assassins?
    >>
    >> Cheers -- Pete Tillman

    >
    >I think you'll have extreme difficulty getting any currents to pass through
    >the heart with an EMP pulse.
    >
    >The problem is that a short pulse like an EMP pulse has mostly high
    >frequency components. The skin effect (a property of conductors in general,
    >not specifically human skin) keeps the high frequencies from penetrating
    >very far into the body.
    >
    >The relative safety of high frequency current isn't just theory - Tesla, for
    >instance, used to put on demonstrations with his tesla coil, drawing huge
    >sparks from his body.
    >
    >The biggest danger with high frequency (RF or above) electricity is the
    >possibilty of painful burns.
    >
    >AFAIK, other than nuclear bombs (which are very wide area devices) the EMP
    >devices that exist are basically pulsed microwave beams, which opearate by
    >burning out the generator.
    >
    >There is some possibility for pain and perhaps even damage from intense
    >enough microwave sources. But I would not expect that you could get enough
    >penetration to affect the heart.
    >
    >For an interesting if somewhat bizarre example, the military has been
    >investigating a microwave beam which causes painful burning sensations
    >(allegedly without actual damage) for crowd control, see for instance
    >
    >http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/science/03/02/new.weapon.02/
    >
    >
     
  4. In article <[email protected]>,
    "pervect" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > High powered radar (like those aboard ships) have been known to cook birds,
    > and they have the capability to kill a human, too. But the damage mechanism
    > is heating (cooking is an extreme case of heating).


    Which reminds me of a cautionary tale I once heard as a midshipman
    visiting Corpus Christi NAS: in the late Pleistocene, the HV for the
    base's radars was supplied by big, water-cooled rectifiers. A SA,
    assisting in descaling the tank, decided he had to take a leak *now*,
    and used the tank. Unfortunately, it was powered up. A painful, smelly,
    undignified death followed...

    Ick, Pete
     
  5. John

    John Guest

    "Peter D. Tillman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > "pervect" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > High powered radar (like those aboard ships) have been known to cook

    birds,
    > > and they have the capability to kill a human, too. But the damage

    mechanism
    > > is heating (cooking is an extreme case of heating).

    >
    > Which reminds me of a cautionary tale I once heard as a midshipman
    > visiting Corpus Christi NAS: in the late Pleistocene, the HV for the
    > base's radars was supplied by big, water-cooled rectifiers. A SA,
    > assisting in descaling the tank, decided he had to take a leak *now*,
    > and used the tank. Unfortunately, it was powered up. A painful, smelly,
    > undignified death followed...
    >
    > Ick, Pete


    Which in turn reminds me of a story I heard regarding a military radar
    installation. Supposedly, the less-than-brilliant guard was sitting in front
    of the radar dish on those cold winter nights to keep warm. One night he
    decides he's not warm enough and somehow gets the radar output up to 10
    times it's normal output. He cooks to death, of course.
     
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