The Electromagnetic Signal Due to the Exclusion of the Earth's Magnetic Field by Nuclear Explosions

by W. J. Karzas, Richard Latter


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A description of two possible mechanisms by which the earth's magnetic field might be excluded from a large region about a nuclear explosion. First, the Compton-recoil electrons generated by explosion gamma rays interact with the earth's magnetic field, producing a "back" field. Approximate calculations presented indicate that this mechanism does not exclude the field. The other possibility is that the field is excluded because of the blast-wave motion of heated (conducting) air. It is shown that this mechanism is effective and its magnitude is crudely estimated.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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