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Name: Jeff
Status: Student
Grade: 12+
Location: OH
Country: United States
Date: Winter 2009-2010

Would inactive transistors be destroyed by a larger than normal solar flare (back EMF)?


Sorry, but what do you mean by inactive transistors? Are you talking about old "bipolar" transistors that are just laying in a drawer somewhere or are you talking about the millions of transistors mechanized in today's modern integrated circuits?

How much "larger than normal" of a solar flare are you talking about? There are a lot of variables in your question.

A big enough solar flare could cause an Earth total extinction.

Back EMF, is that a reverse voltage?

Anyway, a solar flare is experienced here on earth as an electric field that induces currents in conductors, like the power lines that make up the power grid. The larger the electric field, the greater the induced currents. The induced currents would be detected in circuits as current surges that in the power grid pop circuit breakers, hopefully soon enough to prevent damage from excessive currents. A large enough voltage potential put across the terminals of a bipolar transistor will be able to induce large enough boundary crossing currents to burnout the transistor.

By the way, fiber optic cables are not affected by stray electric fields.

Hope this helps.

Sincere regards,
Mike Stewart

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