Lengthy Explanation of Why I'm Here:
TLDR; "force field" made of electromagnetic radiation.
Recently, I've decided to compile a list of possible technologies available in the 22nd and 23rd centuries, along with explanations and descriptions. I have already come up with names of some of the technologies (mechs, antimatter engines, etc), and have begun to come up with descriptions.
In this list is an entry titled Electromagnetic Shields. When I came up with the idea, it seemed really simple. Have a bunch of "nodes" connected to a quantum supercomputer. The nodes send out electromagnetic waves, and the computer controls the direction, frequency, and amplitude of the waves sent out by each node.
Now attach the nodes to a spacecraft in an irregular lattice arrangement, computationally and uniquely determined by the size and shape of the spacecraft to maximize effectiveness. From the constructive and destructive interference of each electromagnetic wave, assisted by the computer, there now exists an extremely strong (but likely blob-shaped) electromagnetic field, localized to a small region around and away from the spacecraft. Let's call this region of intense electromagnetism the Annihilation Zone (AZ). Note: the AZ exists a distance away from the spacecraft, to minimize any dangers to crew and craft.
Any solid or even liquid matter that enters the AZ will experience an electromagnetic force so strong that the
intramolecular intermolecular forces (I apologize for not remembering the correct term) are overcome, and the matter is ruptured into individual molecules and atoms (small clusters where the AZ is weaker), thus removing any danger of impact. Note: this material annihilation as a method of shielding is based loosely on The Ethos Effect by LE Modesitt Jr.
When I began researching electromagnetism to see if this was in any way possible, I ran into a huge problem. Electromagnetism refers to both radiation (light) and electric and magnetic fields. If I'm emitting either waves or particles, it's light. If I exhibit a field, it's either electric or magnetic. The difference is huge.
If the nodes do emit waves, all I get is a fancy light show, with maybe a bit of radiative heat. If they exhibit fields, they could seriously mess with the spacecraft itself as well as everything inside.
Or at least, that's what I got out of the Wikipedia page. *Awkward silence*
So, does my theory hold up? Would any of it be possible, given that this is between the 22nd and 23rd centuries?
EDIT: I'm not asking about the energy involved or conservation of momentum (that's an entirely different question), only if electromagnetic forces would be radiative or electric/magnetic in this instance.