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

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Representational image. Pixabay
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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

Next Story

Earthquake Then Volcano, There is No Relief For the Hawaii Residents

Hundreds of people have evacuated from Leilani Estates, a community of about 1,700 people, and Lanipuna Gardens.

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Hawaii Could Face Volcanic Smog, Acid Rain
Hawaii Could Face Volcanic Smog, Acid Rain. Pixabay

A massive quake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale jolted Hawaii residents were evacuating from their homes following a volcanic eruption that has not showed any signs of slowing down, authorities said.

The temblor that struck 16 km southwest of Leilani Estates at 12.32 p.m., on Friday, was one of more than 110 earthquakes that hit the island since the Kilauea volcano, one of the world’s most active, erupted on Wednesday, reports CNN.

US Geological Survey (USGS) seismologist Jana Pursley said there have been 119 earthquakes on the Big Island since Thursday afternoon.

The USGS said Friday’s 6.9 quake was the most powerful on the island since 1975.

About 14,000 customers of Hawaii Electric Light lost power immediately after the earthquake.

About 14,000 customers of Hawaii Electric Light lost power immediately after the earthquake.
Earthquake in Hawaii, IANS

The quake has knocked out power to residents who were already dealing with mandatory evacuation orders, molten rock and high levels of sulphur dioxide in the air.

The situation wasn’t getting any better, Civil Defence Administrator Talmadge Magno told reporters on Friday afternoon.

“Activity continues. It doesn’t look like it is slowing down,” CNN quoted Magno as saying.

He said five volcanic vents have opened and indicated that at least one house and another structure were destroyed by lava.

It is highly unusual to see the vents so far from Kilauea volcano, he said.

Hundreds of people have evacuated from Leilani Estates, a community of about 1,700 people, and Lanipuna Gardens.

Harry Kim, Mayor of Hawaii County, said the government will support residents, including those who want to go back to their homes to pick up some belongings.

“We have to work with them as to how we are going to minimise (the inconveniences) as best as possible,” he said.

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Kim said people who want to check on their homes would be allowed into the neighbourhoods.

Cracks in Kilauea volcano’s rift zone — an area of fissures miles away from the summit — erupted on Thursday and early Friday, spurting lava near the island’s eastern edge.

Video posted on social media showed lava spewing several feet into the air from a new crack in a Leilani Estates street.

Aerial videos showed lava searing a long orange and smoky line through a wooded area.

Hawaii Governor David Ige has activated the National Guard to help with evacuations and security. (IANS)