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Radio Frequency Weapons and the Next Phase of Terrorism

Radio Frequency Weapons and the Next Phase of Terrorism

Abstract: This paper examines different types of radio frequency (“RF”) weapons that are currently being developed. It discusses the different types of weapons that currently exist, explains why they would be useful to terrorists, and explores different ways to defend against them.

Recent media articles have put forth the idea of the “RF weapon,” something that has been described as if it were a magical gun that can bring the United States to its knees. While these weapons do exist, the threat they pose is far less widespread and dangerous than articles such as “RF Weapons Attacking Our Freedom?” propose. Having said that, however, the threat is real, and steps need to be taken to defend against RF weaponry.

One of the first distinctions that should be drawn in this discussion is that between RF weapons and EMP weapons. An EMP (electromagnetic pulse) is usually employed by detonating a thermonuclear devices at high altitudes (500 miles or more) above the Earth. The resulting electromagnetic pulse cripples any electronic equipment within its path. Thus, one nuclear device can be used to cripple the modern infrastructure of an entire nation [1]. An RF device is effective over a much smaller range, but it can cause just as much damage [2].

According to David Shriner, a former military engineer and expert on RF technology, there are a number of different types of RF weapons, which are also referred to as High Powered Microwave (HPM) weapons. The first type is the conventional RF weapon, which sends out a concentrated band of radio waves toward a target. These radio waves act in a way similar to the waves inside a normal microwave oven; given a sufficient amount of power, they can be used to heat and damage electronic equipment operating at the same frequency. Because of this need to match frequency with the target, conventional RF weapons require prior research and intelligence before they can be deployed effectively by terrorists [3].

A second, more insidious type of HPM weapon is what Shriner calls the Transient Electromagnetic Device (TED). Instead of producing a sine wave at a particular frequency (as conventional RF devices do), the TED creates a sudden spike of energy that can last as little as 100 picoseconds (the amount of time it takes light to travel about 1.

Symbols and Symbolism in The Great Gatsby

Symbolism in The Great Gatsby

In The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald presents a novel with intricate symbolism. Fitzgerald integrates symbolism into the heart of the novel so strongly that it is necessary to read the book several times to gain any level of understanding. The overtones and connotations that Fitzgerald gives to the dialogues, settings, and actions is a major reason why The Great Gatsby is one of the classics of the 20th century.

Three themes dominate the text of The Great Gatsby. They are time / loss, appearance / mutability, and perspective. Most of the novel’s thematic structure falls neatly into one of these categories. In order to satisfactorily understand the novel, we must examine the roles of these three themes.

The word time appears 450 times in the novel either by itself or in a compound word. Fitzgerald obviously wanted to emphasize the importance of time to the overall design of the book. Time is most important to Gatsby’s character. Gatsby’s relationship with time is a major aspect to the plot. He wants to erase five years from not only his own life but also Daisy’s. Gatsby’s response to Nick, telling him that he can repeat the past, is symbolic of the tragic irony that is behind Gatsby’s fate. Gatsby exclaims on page 116, “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can!” Gatsby cannot accept Daisy until she erases the last three years of her life by telling Tom that she never loved him to his face. Gatsby fully believes what he says and thinks (or desperately hopes) that that is true about Daisy. At one part of the story he actually tells Nick how, as soon as Tom is out of the picture, he and Daisy were going to go to Memphis so they could get married at her white house just like it were five years before hand. In another scene, when Gatsby and Nick go to the Buchanans’ for lunch towards the end of the book, Gatsby sees Daisy’s and Tom’s child for the first time. Nick describes Gatsby’s expression as one of genuine surprise and suggests that Gatsby probably never before believed in the girl’s existence. Gatsby is so caught up in his dream that he becomes vulnerable to the world’s brutal reality.

Fitzgerald masterfully creates a time symbolism in the scene when Daisy and Gatsby meet for the first time in five years.

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