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Bouncing UK Children Cause Earthquake 221

Xibalba writes: "This is kinda cool. One million children in the UK jumped up and down simultaneously in an attempt to see what would seismically happen." This cries out to become an annual (and international) all-ages event. Bounce! Bounce! Gain weight! Bounce! Repeat.
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Bouncing UK Children Cause Earthquake

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  • Re:Consequence? (Score:5, Informative)

    by strictnein ( 318940 ) <(moc.oohay) (ta) (todhsals-ooftcirts)> on Saturday September 08, 2001 @01:15AM (#2266301) Homepage Journal
    nope, you just don't understand the richter scale

    an earthquake of 10 is not just 1 notch above an earthquake of 9. It's 10 times more powerful.

    From &lastnode_id=141724

    Listing is: Richter Scale # - Amount great than Richter Scale of 1 - info

    1 1 no noticeable effects...detected only by seismographs
    2 10 only slightly noticeable even if close to epicenter
    3 100
    4 1,000 slight damage near the epicenter
    5 10,000
    6 100,000 moderate destruction
    7 1,000,000 severe destruction
    8 10,000,000 one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded
  • by mmmmbeer ( 107215 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @01:18AM (#2266313)
    I saw some of this on tv. The kids didn't actually jump simultaneously. That is, they weren't in synch as they jumped up and down. They did all start and stop at about the same time though, which is what they mean by simultaneous, I guess.
  • by dragons_flight ( 515217 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @01:25AM (#2266329) Homepage
    I'd like to think you're joking, but since I'm not sure I'm going to reply anyway.

    They were expecting the jumping to be equivalent to about a magnitude 3 earthquake on the Richter scale which is a common seismic event that shows up on seismographs but which people can't even detect. A significant quake will be more like a 5 or higher on the Richter scale. This scale is logarithmic so a 4 is actually 10 times more powerful than a 3, and a 5 is 10 times a 4.

    Thus the scientists would have to have been mistaken about the impact of all that jumping by a factor of 100 to actually rattle people. Any scientist worth his salt ought to be able to estimate the effect of what he's doing more precisely than 2 orders of magnitude, especially if it might be dangerous for him to be wrong.

    Note: The 10 times factor applies to wave amplitude, energy content scales by about 10*Sqrt(10) or 31 times from one level to the next.
  • To no use (Score:5, Informative)

    by maggard ( 5579 ) <> on Saturday September 08, 2001 @01:38AM (#2266346) Homepage Journal
    According to the BBC [] the result was... not much.

    For those /.'ers who sneer at reading linked articles the kids just went out and jumped about for a minute. No attempt at synchronization beyond a wall clock and some teacher calling out "OK Luvvies - jump about now!" There wasn't even an attempt to get the kids on a beat (apparently BBC1 couldn't be persuaded to play Queen's "We Will Rock You" at the right time ;-)

    However as directly useless as this may be to science it's doubtless opened the eye's of Britians youth to what promises to be only the first of the many pointless exercises they will be required to go through in their lives, always a lesson worth learning.

  • by dillon_rinker ( 17944 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @12:32PM (#2267676) Homepage
    "Route step, march!"

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes