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Scientists Unveil Revolutionary ‘Invisibility Cloak’ that can Protect Buildings From Earthquake

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November 23, 2016: To protect buildings from earthquakes, scientists are developing large structures which are inspired by ‘cloaking’ materials for sound and light.

Much like sound and light, Earthquakes too travel in waves. Previously, scientists have designed materials with internal structures that interfere with the propagation of light and sound.

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Recently, the researchers at the Imperial College London in UK with collaborators in France are trying to make larger versions of these structures, and that could be used to control the propagation of earthquakes.

Trees act as resonators, and they oscillate at certain frequencies, even at long wavelengths.
“In the right arrangement, the interaction of resonating trees can redirect the energy of seismic waves deep into the soil, reducing damage.”

Researchers said,” This approach is based on metamaterials, artificial arrangements of resonators with unusual electromagnetic properties.”

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Metamaterial or ‘invisibility cloaks’ have already been used to make tiny objects invisible to the eye by redirecting the light waves. Recently, larger versions could be created to emulate the resonance of trees and make the buildings ‘invisible’ to earthquakes.

According to PTI, Professor Richard Craster, Head of the Department of Mathematics at Imperial said,”Wouldn’t it be great if we could surround a historic castle or a nuclear power station with a metamaterial, so that when the seismic waves come at it they are sent around or diverted into the ground.”

“The building would remain perfectly still, not damaged. This is what we want to do,” said Craster.

Dr Andrea Colombi, also from Imperial, with Craster and colleagues, demonstrated how a dense forest behaves as a natural seismic metamaterial.

By generating the vibrations from a crane and by measuring the effects with seismometers, they found out that the resonating trees do offer local protection against surface waves of certain frequencies.

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Researchers saw, in a natural forest, the irregular height of trees and the gaps between them offer protection against larger range of frequencies than that a uniform array would.
The trees would cover an even wider range of seismic frequencies, if they are arranged by decreasing height

Scientists call it a ‘metawedge’, which can be created with real trees or poles acting as artificial resonators.

Craster added.”Another thing we care about is, for example, the vibration coming from railway lines.”

prepared by NewsGram team with PTI inputs

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  • Diksha Arya

    This is an amazing concept. If this works, it will be a boon to mankind.

  • Ruchika Kumari

    we all know earthquake make a huge devastation….hope this gonna protect buildings

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Pichai met with senior Republicans on Friday to discuss their concerns, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?