Podcast - Ep 54: Are we headed for an internet apocalypse?


Peter Becker, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in George Mason University’s College of Science, talks with Mason President Gregory Washington about how a predicted major increase in solar storm activity could be a prelude to an “internet apocalypse.”

Can we prepare? What could be the consequences? What are the economic implications? A $14 million federal study Becker is leading with the Navy could provide better predictive capabilities and help us better understand exactly what’s at stake. 

Dr. Peter Becker wears headphones and speaks into the microphone during Access to Excellence podcast recording

Professor Peter Becker joins Mason president Gregory Washington in the studio to discuss how an increase in solar storms could be a prelude to an “internet apocalypse” on this episode of the Acess to Excellence podcast.

Photo credit:
Photo credit
Cristian Torres/George Mason University

   A very large event could take the internet out for as long as a month, and there’s additional damage to the power grid, too. So if you lose the internet, the economic damage in the U.S. alone is considered to be on the order of about $10 billion per day. And so if that escalates, you pretty rapidly run into an economic disruption that’s larger than COVID, let’s say, as an example."