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November 26, 2008

#509: Induced Current

Induced Current

[[A man wearing a beret, extension cord in hand, approaches Randall as he works at his computer.]]

Beret: Can I plug my extension cord over here?

Randall: No.

Beret: Why?

Randall: Solar Flares.

[[A diagram is displayed, illustrating the Earth’s magnetic field being permanently impacted by a large solar flare (represented by a large arrow).]]

[[A second diagram is presented, illustrating the Earth’s rotation and the resulting impact that the solar flare would have on the earth’s magnetic field. ]]

Randall: A large solar flare could dent the Earth’s magnetic field inwards. The Earth’s spin could then induce a strong current in any long conductors, melting them and starting fires. By extending your cord, you could kill us all.

[[Stunned, the man wearing the beret looks down at the cord he carries.]]

Beret: Really?

Randall: Warn your friends.

[[Dejected, the man walks away, cord in tow.]]

[[Randall looks up from his computer as he is braced by his girlfriend, a stern look in her face.]]

Girlfriend: That was MEAN.

Randall: Listen, SOMEBODY has to keep MythBusters in business. Next season should be fun.