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Compton recoil electrons are electrons knocked from orbitals of an atom usually by gamma radiation from a nuclear explosion.

These electrons create a brief current which results in an electromagnetic pulse or EMP which can damage or destroy unshielded electronic equiptment, mainly microchips. Such an event taking place at high altitude would result in wide scale electrical damage.
"our electrical equiptment was damaged as a result of compton recoil electrons from the EMP blast"
by chosenfoo October 04, 2006
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