Electromagnetic pulse

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There is more information available on this subject at Electromagnetic pulse on the English Wikipedia.
A Type-26B Banshee GSA when hit by the EMP effect of an overcharged Type-25 plasma pistol.

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is the electromagnetic radiation from an explosion (especially a nuclear explosion) or an intensely fluctuating magnetic field caused by Compton-recoil electrons and photoelectrons from photons scattered in the materials of the electronic or explosive device or in a surrounding medium. While organic tissue is unaffected, the resulting electric and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges. The effects are usually not noticeable beyond the blast radius unless the device is nuclear or specifically designed to produce an electromagnetic shockwave. An alternate definition is: a broadband, high-intensity, short-duration burst of electromagnetic energy.

The worst of an electromagnetic pulse generally only lasts for a second, but any unprotected electrical equipment will be affected by the pulse.[1]

Notable examples[edit]

There have been several noteworthy instances in which an EMP has appeared.


EMP is also an in-game effect in the Halo games, that disables energy shields and vehicles. It is produced by certain weapons and equipment.


  • If you disable a vehicle using an EMP, it will show an animation of some sparks flying around, but if you disable it again before it is drivable then the animation will stop and the vehicle will not work.
  • Some vehicles disabled by an EMP will still have full functionality of its weapons if it has any. For example, if a M12 Warthog is disabled by an EMP, the turret will still be able to turn around and shoot. Likewise, a Type-26 Banshee, while grounded, will still be able to boost and perform tricks.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Wikipedia: Electromagnetic pulse
  2. ^ Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 317
  3. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level, Long Night of Solace
  4. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level Two Betrayals
  5. ^ Halo: First Strike, page 89
  6. ^ Halo 3: ODST, campaign level, Prepare to Drop
  7. ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 224
  8. ^ Halo 4, campaign level, Shutdown
  9. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, campaign level Guardians