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Author Topic: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?  (Read 1176 times)

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Offline FrelanceTopic starter

Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« on: September 17, 2012, 02:39:39 PM »
This question has been on my mind for a few days now and as much as I would like to devote the time I need to to find the answer but I do not have that much free time at the moment. So if anyone can tell me if the human body could shield a chip that is embedded in the body from an EMP I would be quite grateful.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2012, 02:55:19 PM »
Depends on how much juice is put into the pulse.. the EMP from a generated source in a lab.. possibly..the EMP from a kiloton+ detenation? Most likely not... but you'll have other issues then. A lot depends on the source of the EMP, magnititude, distance from it.. and fraility of the chip in question.

Offline Caitlin

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2012, 02:57:54 PM »
By my knowledge; no. As far as I know only lead can protect against an EMP wave, with everything else the energy will simply pass through the material and kill the chip.

A simple way to test it would be by holding your cell phone in your hands and let somebody call it. If your phone rings it means that an EMP would pass through as well. Also keep in mind; electronic devices can read a chip in a pet without any trouble. If they can read it then it means an EMP can pass through as well.


The only way this could possibly work is if you were Wolverine and the chip was somehow implanted in your head below the skull, however, I wouldn't recommend that for obvious reasons. ;)

Offline Oniya

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Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2012, 02:59:06 PM »
Also, whether the chip is 'loose' or in some kind of device.  They've done some research on the effects of EMPs on cardiac pacemakers, and the design of the newer models includes shielding to protect the sensitive electronics from electromagnetic interference.

Offline Flaming

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2012, 03:00:52 PM »
I would say the same thing.

Taking in account that the human body is mostly water you can refer to the absorption of electromagnetic waves in water, but you need also to know which wavelength is actually messing up with the chip. Then, the human body is few inches wide, to properly shield high energy waves, like x-rays they usually go with thick walls of lead.

Offline FrelanceTopic starter

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2012, 03:13:37 PM »
I did not expect such a fast response. Thank you all for your answers, reading them I realized how much I had been over thinking this topic haha. I was just thinking comparing having cybernetic embedded in the body and just having devices that are strapped to the body or just attached to the body in some other way. So thank you again for your answers.

Offline Caitlin

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2012, 03:33:17 PM »
Don't worry, Judgement Day won't come just yet, you have until 2015. ;)

Offline FrelanceTopic starter

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2012, 03:37:33 PM »
Don't worry, Judgement Day won't come just yet, you have until 2015. ;)
Haha, for now yes but that could change if they decide to travel back again. ;)

I am just interested because I am a Sci-fi addict and lately there has been a lack of anything new for me to feed off of. So my mind has started wandering again.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2012, 03:38:32 PM »
I did not expect such a fast response. Thank you all for your answers, reading them I realized how much I had been over thinking this topic haha. I was just thinking comparing having cybernetic embedded in the body and just having devices that are strapped to the body or just attached to the body in some other way. So thank you again for your answers.

Well after a certain threshold it won't matter since the EMP would disrupt the nervous system and you'd be doing the dying cockroach anyway. (and given most sources of THAT level, most likely a smear on a wall anyway.)

Offline FrelanceTopic starter

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2012, 03:43:35 PM »
Well after a certain threshold it won't matter since the EMP would disrupt the nervous system and you'd be doing the dying cockroach anyway. (and given most sources of THAT level, most likely a smear on a wall anyway.)

That is true, if the EMP was that powerful I definitely would not care lol.

Offline Caitlin

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2012, 03:54:31 PM »
I may actually be a bit paranoid, but all those wireless signals in the air simply can't be healthy? I took care that wireless internet in my house simply doesn't work (also because cabled internet is faster/ more reliable), and the only real wireless device in my house is my cell phone and remote control. I have no worries about the latter, but I still prefer not to use my cell phone too much either. At least, not for calling.

For the short term I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any bad side effects, but on the long term there is no telling... Maybe that's a subject for you to wander about as well. ;)

Offline Oniya

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Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2012, 03:57:48 PM »
We went hard-wired because that way it's easier to ground the little Oni.  'No Minecraft for you!  *yoinks cable*'  ;D

Offline FrelanceTopic starter

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2012, 04:00:03 PM »
I may actually be a bit paranoid, but all those wireless signals in the air simply can't be healthy? I took care that wireless internet in my house simply doesn't work (also because cabled internet is faster/ more reliable), and the only real wireless device in my house is my cell phone and remote control. I have no worries about the latter, but I still prefer not to use my cell phone too much either. At least, not for calling.

For the short term I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any bad side effects, but on the long term there is no telling... Maybe that's a subject for you to wander about as well. ;)

I would not worry about wireless internet much since its just radio waves and we have been around those for decades now. I also don't worry about the radiation that cellphones give off just because there is enough stuff that can kill you that one more thing does not make much of a difference. Thats just my view of the world though.

It is true that a Cabled connection is faster but that is because wireless can only broadcast in specific frequencies so it cannot transfer as much data.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2012, 04:11:29 PM »
I may actually be a bit paranoid, but all those wireless signals in the air simply can't be healthy? I took care that wireless internet in my house simply doesn't work (also because cabled internet is faster/ more reliable), and the only real wireless device in my house is my cell phone and remote control. I have no worries about the latter, but I still prefer not to use my cell phone too much either. At least, not for calling.

For the short term I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any bad side effects, but on the long term there is no telling... Maybe that's a subject for you to wander about as well. ;)

Trust me. RF clutter in a normal enviorment isn't that big a deal.. now if you're standing in a spot and your unplugged headset buzzes every so many in seconds (in time with a certain rotating antenna 3 stories above the flight deck) THEN you should worry..


(Which is why you don't get a lot of electronic techs and electricians launching aircraft on one side of a specific catapult on carriers.)

Offline FrelanceTopic starter

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2012, 04:20:56 PM »
Trust me. RF clutter in a normal enviorment isn't that big a deal.. now if you're standing in a spot and your unplugged headset buzzes every so many in seconds (in time with a certain rotating antenna 3 stories above the flight deck) THEN you should worry..

That just makes me think of when I walk into a library while I am listening to an audio book and the RF clutter that the arfid scanners give off is picked up in my head phone. That is always annoying but at least I know the dam things are on and working to some extend.

Offline Caitlin

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2012, 04:22:54 PM »
Well like I said; I'm not so much concerned about the short term, but more about the prolonged effects. Also, RF's might have been around for decades, but I dare to say that their intensity increased a fifty-fold over the past 20 years. It used to be very rare to have mobile devices of any kind, but now they're everywhere.

If I ever get to construct my own house then I'll make sure that it has a cage of Faraday in its construction, just to be sure. I'm not too worried about radiation or waves with the limited amount that I'm exposed to them, but it's scary if you realise just how many waves there are around you these days. Especially in a small country like The Netherlands. Keep in mind that we have a denser population than China. We live here on a piece of land that's roughly 250 x 350 km and have more than 17 million people on that piece of ground. Especially the west of the country is slowly turning into one big city.

Offline FrelanceTopic starter

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2012, 04:27:48 PM »
I'm not too worried about radiation or waves with the limited amount that I'm exposed to them, but it's scary if you realise just how many waves there are around you these days. Especially in a small country like The Netherlands. Keep in mind that we have a denser population than China. We live here on a piece of land that's roughly 250 x 350 km and have more than 17 million people on that piece of ground. Especially the west of the country is slowly turning into one big city.

Having that much around you could be worrisome. I do not have to worry to much about the concentration since I live in Canada or as one of my high school teachers used to like to say the tenth largest city in the United States of America.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2012, 04:30:26 PM »
Having that much around you could be worrisome. I do not have to worry to much about the concentration since I live in Canada or as one of my high school teachers used to like to say the tenth largest city in the United States of America.

I had one that called it the 51st state.  XD

If I ever get to construct my own house then I'll make sure that it has a cage of Faraday in its construction, just to be sure.

Now there's a concept to explore...  Windows might be an issue, depending on how dense a cage you want to make (it has to have holes smaller than the wavelengths that you want to keep out, if I read the info on EMP shielding correctly).  Now I'm wondering what someone doing electronic surveillance would 'see' when scanning a building like that, and what other potential uses it could have.

Offline Caitlin

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2012, 04:34:31 PM »
Yeah, it's pretty crazy. These days every house has a radio, multiple cell phones, tablets, wireless internet and god knows what other kinds of wireless devices. I'm betting that in my street alone we'd easily have over 200 wireless devices already, and that'd probably be a conservative number. Add to that all the radio traffic, cell phone traffic, etc. and you get quite a busy sky.

It's actually so bad that on my telephone (VoiP) I hear a radiostation of some sort when I pick up the receiver, and I have absolutely no idea where that sound comes from. At least it doesn't sound very loud, or it'd interfere with my phonecalls, but it's still weird to have that happen.

Offline Caitlin

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2012, 04:37:22 PM »
Now there's a concept to explore...  Windows might be an issue, depending on how dense a cage you want to make (it has to have holes smaller than the wavelengths that you want to keep out, if I read the info on EMP shielding correctly).  Now I'm wondering what someone doing electronic surveillance would 'see' when scanning a building like that, and what other potential uses it could have.
Actually, due to the concrete structure of many of our houses, a lot of them form natural cages of Faraday already. I used to work on tech support for one of the biggest ISP's in my country and it was a common problem for why wireless internet wouldn't work in a house. :-)

By my knowledge, apart from a few vacation bungalows, not a single house is purely build out of wood, unless it's over 100 years old, and even then it's mostly bricks. The houses of the past 30 years feature concrete plates with bricks on the outside.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 04:38:26 PM by Caitlin »

Offline FrelanceTopic starter

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2012, 04:42:25 PM »
I had one that called it the 51st state.  XD
Lol thats great but I like city better just because it reflects the huge population difference but 51st state is pretty good to. :D

Now I'm wondering what someone doing electronic surveillance would 'see' when scanning a building like that, and what other potential uses it could have.

There was an episode of Continuum where all the difference magnetic fields and radio waves that were inside a building were used to map out the movements of people inside the building. They did it by finding distortions in the magnetic fields and radio waves that were caused by the magnetic field of the people in the buildings. It was pretty cool but it was a tv show so I do not know if there is any commercial hardware/software that would let someone do that now.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2012, 05:04:56 PM »
The most 'signal' inhibitive building I was ever in was a building with a metal strut frame that had a certified ground at the bottom of each struct (all 40 of them) with a chicken wire style grid overlay between the struts and metal panels connected by copper rivets together and to the struts with an additional grounding wire connecting the panels to the struts.

It literally ATE signals. You couldn't be on a phone walking in the door and expect to keep connection. (And yes..the doors were hooked to a grounded doorframe.)

Offline Caitlin

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2012, 05:11:10 PM »
Awesome... That's just my kinda building. Where do I order one? ;D

(Actually, this is starting to remind me of my super villain Illumina. She was crazy like hell, but her light-based gadgets were awesome.)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 05:12:11 PM by Caitlin »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2012, 05:15:42 PM »
Awesome... That's just my kinda building. Where do I order one? ;D

(Actually, this is starting to remind me of my super villain Illumina. She was crazy like hell, but her light-based gadgets were awesome.)

You don't want to live it in.. concrete floor, no insulation.. wind went right through it. They had to bring in space heaters to keep the spray paint from freezing up. (It was a hazmat storeage building)

Offline Oniya

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Re: Can the human body shield a Chip from an EMP?
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2012, 05:19:23 PM »
You don't want to live it in.. concrete floor, no insulation.. wind went right through it. They had to bring in space heaters to keep the spray paint from freezing up. (It was a hazmat storeage building)

Interior decorating can come later.  ;D