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Old 04-13-2010, 11:15 AM   #1
jupstin
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What happens to an e-ink screen when subjected to a strong EMP

Strange question, I realize, but does anyone have an idea of what would happen to the currently displayed screen on an e-ink reader if it was caught in the range of an ElectroMagnetic Pulse (like from a nuclear bomb or some non-nuclear EMP weapon.) I realize that the device would stop working, but would the current page continue to display or would it get all messed up?
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:40 AM   #2
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I tried moving some strong magnets close to the screen... nothing happened I haven't tried with an NMR one, though
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:28 PM   #3
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Oooh, I can't wait to see how this turns out!
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:38 PM   #4
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My main reason for asking this is a little project I've been thinking about, but it won't work as well if e-ink screens get all messed up in EMP's
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:42 PM   #5
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The end of the story

...As the nuclear blast subsided, his Kindle, shielded from the brunt of the blast by his body, fell to the ground. Although the EMP had fried the circuitry, the display still rendered one final image--a silhouette, showing the look of surprise on his face.

How's that, Steve?
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:45 PM   #6
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That rocks
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:14 PM   #7
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I have seen some youtube(I will see if I can find it again) tests in the past where they have microwaved eink screens have been fine. I think the screen would likely still show up.

if the unit was powered off and was not very near to the emp source(near is factored by the size/power of the emp) the unit itself maybe fine. some units would be more likely to brake then others. anything with an (antennas/pluged in) will pick up more power from the emp more then anything that does not. so a sony would be better at pulling thru then kindle. being powered off helps as the system is not already have power push thru it at the rate it was rated for at giving it a buffer for the power serge.

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasc...9/eng99645.htm

that is how I understand it all.. but I'm a programmer(with a passion for science) not a Scientist.

edit: here is an video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiQBEPwEYMc(not the one I saw before but it works) this is a very basic screen but it should seem work about the same on a more complex scale with a full screen.

Last edited by ahammer; 04-13-2010 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:33 PM   #8
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one last point is that even if the hardware is fine.. your software is pry damage with all but the lightest emp without shielding.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:46 PM   #9
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Given that the way that eInk screens work is by charged particles moving in an electric field, I would think it more than likely that a screen display would be completely scrambled by EMP.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:57 PM   #10
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Given that the way that eInk screens work is by charged particles moving in an electric field, I would think it more than likely that a screen display would be completely scrambled by EMP.
That's my thought as well, but I was hoping to be wrong. We'll see if anyone knows for sure
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:02 PM   #11
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That's my thought as well, but I was hoping to be wrong. We'll see if anyone knows for sure
Let's hope nobody ever finds out for sure.
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:42 PM   #12
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Let's hope nobody ever finds out for sure.
Good point - I'll rephrase - I hope somebody makes me happy by having a strong theoretical reason for thinking the screen would not be messed up
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:27 PM   #13
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I'd think even if the screen was fine, other parts of the electronics, the memory (books, the operating system) etc. would be fried/wiped out.
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:23 PM   #14
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Considering that light is a weak form of electromagnetic radiation and my eink screen fades in direct sunlight, emp would destroy the image completely.
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:52 AM   #15
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Given that the way that eInk screens work is by charged particles moving in an electric field, I would think it more than likely that a screen display would be completely scrambled by EMP.
However, the particles move in the field created between the top and bottom layers of the screen; I'm not sure that would be affected by a large-scale field.
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