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Wireless Networking Science Hardware

Nanotech and Wireless Guard Against Earthquakes 45

Roland Piquepaille writes "Two separate efforts using technology to protect people from earthquakes have recently been in the news. At the University of Leeds, UK, researchers will use nanotechnology and RFID tags to build a 'self-healing' house in Greece. The house's walls will contain nanoparticles that turn into a liquid when squeezed under pressure, flow into cracks, and then harden to form a solid material. The walls will also host a network of wireless sensors and RFID tags that can alert the residents to an imminent earthquake. Meanwhile, another team at the Washington University in St. Louis is using a wireless sensor network to limit earthquake damages."
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Nanotech and Wireless Guard Against Earthquakes

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  • by viking80 ( 697716 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:12AM (#18747521) Journal
    This is an automated comment generated by a grease monkey script. If you agree that this is posted by a blog whore, or if you do not want to read any future articles with no useful or new content, you can gray out all Roland Piquepaille articles with this script: [] []


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  • Sigh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by cy_a253 ( 713262 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:27AM (#18747591)
    This is not "nanotech" just because you have nanoparticles. This is applied chemistry and materials science.

    Try holding-up a piece of aluminum foil to a lighter flame. The black residue created contains good amounts of C60 buckyballs and other broken bits of nanotubes. These things have always been around. Nanotech means ATOMIC CONTROL, not just nanoparticles. Like this: on=com_content&task=view&id=60&Itemid=57 []
  • by edwardpickman ( 965122 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:03AM (#18747749)
    Geodesic domes are unaffected by earthquakes and tend to ride them out with little or no damage. The downside is people still want their ranch houses. Unless you build to the environment it's doubtful science can completely protect you. You can make them more resistent but so long as asthetics come first the resistence will be limited. Ever drive around the mountains in LA? There are sedimentary rocks with lines going straight up. Large building sized rocks that are part of the San Andreas fault have bounced tens of miles. In reality nothing is earthquake proof but if you're in a geodesic dome odds are you'll have the last house standing.
  • by asninn ( 1071320 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:51AM (#18748775)
    This refers to the story's submitter, Roland Piquepaille, who has, shall we say, a bit of a reputation on Slashdot. (And not a good one, either, just in case there's any doubt...)
  • by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @10:47AM (#18750399) Homepage Journal
    Depends how quickly the material liquifies under pressure and then restabiizes... if it does it within milliseconds, migrates to the area left cracked and then hardens in place all you have to worry about is a slightly off plum wall or a wall/foundation with a little shift in it.

    Comparing this to an airbag is ridiculous... maybe if you picked crumple zones? Yes crumple zones are a far more accurate comparison if you have to go to vehicle safety measures to make your point.

    To answer your statement... this won't prevent initial damage but will definitely stop the cascade effect of one crack leading to another to another and will definitely help with aftershocks, where the building is damaged in the initial quake and then reduced to rubble by the aftershocks, this will seal up the destabilizing cracks so that the aftershocks won't have such an easy job to do.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. -- Milton Friendman