Recently a Wyoming sophomore asked us, "I'm looking into building a small scale EMP for the Science Fair. Do you think this would be okay with ISEF?"
Several of the Science Posse's engineering graduate Fellows responded:
What an interesting idea!
Unfortunately, there is a pretty good chance that playing around with an ‘electromagnetic pulse’ producer immediately rubs up against FCC rules in the US Because the effects of EMP can be damaging to both electronics and people (and other living things), I'd back away from it pretty quickly. A "twist" on the idea might be to look at EM sensing, that is, there are a bunch of things that can be "picked up in the ether," beyond just radio broadcasts. Here's an example detector found via googling: http://www.zen22142.zen.co.uk/Circuits/Misc/emf.htm