A new concrete formulation designed to keep winter surfaces ice-free also has the unexpected benefit of protecting electronics from electromagnetic attack. Developed by scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the concrete serves as a shield from pulses of electronic energy that threaten to disable everything from military equipment to TV sets.
The effects of an electromagnetic pulse were first observed in the early 1960s, when a 1.4 megaton thermonuclear bomb detonated in the mid-Pacific knocked out electronics as far away as Hawaii. This confirmed what many had theorized—nuclear explosions generated a powerful pulse of electromagnetic energy that flew invisibly through the air and capable of overloading and frying circuits in all kinds of devices. Despite being nearly 900 miles away, the pulse burned out streetlights across the state of Hawaii and tripped burglar alarms.
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