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Ot: Teotwawki

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  • Ot: Teotwawki

    The End of the World as We Know It, brought on by a Carrington Event. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrington_Event

    I recently read a novel, A Distant Eden, http://www.amazon.com/A-Distant-Eden...8761750&sr=8-1 which was quite entertaining and educational to boot, which was the author's intent. It's a story of some people who were prepared for such a happening and how they coped.

    Now for the question: why wouldn't a lot of our modern equipment/devices be protected by being inside a metal building or even a metal-reinforced concrete structure? I can see electrical substations and transformers being wiped out by electrical surges on the overhead wires, but a vehicle inside a metal building or a parking structure would be protected, or so I'd think.

    Any opinions on just how likely is such a scenario? Not the Carrington Event itself, that's unpredictable, but not unlikely to happen "some day".

  • #2
    The issue is...

    That the damage is done by an electromagnetic pulse. Unlike a radio wave that can be blocked by a faraday cage (basically a big screen enclosure) magnetism is much harder to block. It's the magnetism that wil basically burn out all "standard" electronics". Or so my understanding of the issue goes.
    Allans Rule: Anything worth doing is going to be a pain in the butt.

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    • #3
      My "Pot Head" neighbours would love this post!!

      They can go on for hours rambling about the end of the world, half the time they're so far out to lunch, you can't follow their conversation.

      Actually harmless people just "SPUN"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jdunmyer
        why wouldn't a lot of our modern equipment/devices be protected by being inside a metal building or even a metal-reinforced concrete structure?
        Anything sensitive, like military equipment, air traffic control, nuclear control stations, ... are well-shielded. In addition, there are EMP and H-EMP standards for that type of equipment.

        An electro-magnetic pulse from a nuclear air-burst wiping out all electronic devices and setting us back to the stone age is a popular sci-fi topic (a la Escape from New York). It would certainly be a pain in the as$, but I'm quite certain the free market economy would refresh modern electronics in short order.
        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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        • #5
          I can't say as to whether a burst of radiation from the sun will end life on earth or not.----That being said, I have a real fondness for "Life after the End of the world" science fiction writing. One of the best I have read is "Farnhams Freehold" by Heinlein. A man named Stirling did some fair writing on the subject. James Axtler has flogged it to death. Johny Ringo did a 4 book series on it. I have some strange tastes in reading---Seem to flip between sci-fi, fantasy, detective stories, and adventure novels.- ----Brian
          Brian Rupnow

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Clevelander
            That the damage is done by an electromagnetic pulse. Unlike a radio wave that can be blocked by a faraday cage (basically a big screen enclosure) magnetism is much harder to block.
            Most of the EMP radiation from a nuclear blast is comprised of microwave and radio wavelengths generated when x-ray and gamma radiation interact with the upper atmosphere. Likewise for the Carrington Event -- it was a massive solar flare, which is predominantly plasma. Both are shieldable.

            There are geomagnetic effects, I understand those are smaller in magnitude for nuclear blasts. No one knows, obviously, for the Carrington Event.
            "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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            • #7
              RF is blocked by any electrically conducting material. However, a strong magnetic pulse will not be stopped by conducting material. If you are using a shielding material that is magnetically attractive, all the pulse does is set up an opposing magnetic field inside the enclosure. There is not much that can be done to shield a people sized interior from a strong magnetic pulse.

              The magnetic pulse destroys electronics by causing electrical current flow through any conducting material inside the electronic device. These currents are usually very high, compared to the ratings of the device and can be in a reversed flow direction. Pass a magnet past an electrical wire and you will cause current to flow in that wire. Pass an electrical pulse through an electrical wire and you will create a magnetic field around that wire. That is a law of physics you cannot repeal.

              There are ways to shield the circuitry from the EMP, but those methods have to be applied to each little part of the device. It gets very complicated.

              Pops

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lazlo
                (a la Escape from New York).

                Actually it was "Escape from LA".

                It very sad that I know that.
                The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jdunmyer
                  It's a story of some people who were prepared for such a happening and how they coped.
                  It wouldn't work that way.

                  Once all the food was eaten the masses of starving people would head for the country to find more. The Amish and Mormons would be the first to be killed off for there food. Any prepared "survivalists" that wasn't really good at hiding would be next and just because you might be armed to the teeth it won't help. How many rounds of ammo do you think you will need to stop all those people before they kill you for your food.
                  The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                  Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by loose nut
                    Once all the food was eaten the masses of starving people would head for the country to find more. The Amish and Mormons would be the first to be killed off for there food. Any prepared "survivalists" that wasn't really good at hiding would be next and just because you might be armed to the teeth it won't help. How many rounds of ammo do you think you will need to stop all those people before they kill you for your food.
                    Holy Cow! You've just synopsized all the "Prepper" reality shows that just popped-up on Discovery Channel and Nat Geo!

                    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the clarification, fellas. I was confusing RF energy with magnetism; I can see how the latter wouldn't be blocked by a simple metal building.

                      LooseNut,
                      These preppers took into account the starving people who would be after their food, etc. They talked about the "walkers" who would come first, lone people or maybe small groups, looking for food, dropping along the way. The walkers would be followed by gangs, larger groups, perhaps armed, also looking to take the preppers' food, but probably a bit more successful at it.

                      Brian,
                      The solar flare or whatever wouldn't kill the people directly, it'd shut down the electrical grid, doing enough damage that it'd be perhaps impossible to restore. IE: if there aren't spare transformers and other parts, how do you rebuild? It should be pretty clear that a few days or weeks w/o power over even a nation-wide area would cause a disaster of hard-to-fathom proportions.

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                      • #12
                        If these maniacs keep screwing around the potential is there for some BIG bs to take place!!

                        I,m headin for the bush country if i have time!!

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                        • #13
                          This subject was touched upon in this thread:

                          http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/sho...t=53393&page=3

                          Particularly by me, in Post #42. A hard and depressing subject, something I would prefer not to happen. That doesn't mean that one shouldn't consider such possibilities and what one could do in such a situation.
                          Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                          ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Weston Bye
                            A hard and depressing subject, something I would prefer not to happen. That doesn't mean that one shouldn't consider such possibilities and what one could do in such a situation.
                            But look on the bright side -- if the electrical grid was shut down for an extended period of time, people who can fix things, blacksmith, work metal... will be in high demand

                            Then again, in Stephen King's The Stand, all the engineers and mechanical types gravitated to the evil team
                            "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lazlo
                              But look on the bright side -- if the electrical grid was shut down for an extended period of time, people who can fix things, blacksmith, work metal... will be in high demand

                              Then again, in Stephen King's The Stand, all the engineers and mechanical types gravitated to the evil team
                              My goal should the SHTF is to be a Warlord
                              I just need one more tool,just one!

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