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Physics/Mega Explosions

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Question
Hi, Do all types of mega explosions equal to or greater than a nuclear bomb create EMPs or do only Nuclear explosions as a result of the nuclear reaction? Examples I am curios about are meteor impacts such as the Tunguska event, the dinosaur killer impact, super volcano explosions, and so on.
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Answer
Not quite the same.  Nuclear weapons create high-energy ionizing radiation in a very, very short amount of time.  The short time span, coupled with the ionizing radiation (which makes very conductive plasma out o the air) mean that nuclear weapons make disproportionately large EMPs relative to their actual energies.  That said, the other phenomena you mentioned can be ridiculously large, even compared to a nuclear weapon.  Meteors are known to have EMP effects, which depend on their size and velocity.  Same for volcanic eruptions, that dark-looking cloud is actually full of lightning.  The effect is powerful, but localized due to the slow nature of a volcanic eruption.

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

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Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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