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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 Max Littlemore ( 1001285 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:44AM (#18747661)

    Imagine a solid structure being put under pressure, as the pressure increased a tiny fraction of the material is turned into liquid, my immediate idea is that this would weaken the structure increasing the risk of a collapse.

    I was wondering about this as well. For as long as the liquid is, well, liquid, surely it wouldn't have any structural strength, so this would effectively make a building more likely to fall apart under stress. Or if the liquid solidifies quickly, what happens when a gap gets filled under temporary expansion and is then suddenly compressed? I'd put money on rubble.

    In my opinion, a much more sensible idea for housing in earthquake prone areas can be found here [] (warning: contains video). It's designed to stay up and not crush people while an earthquake is happening. After the earthquake it can be safely demolished and rebuilt for a fraction of the cost of automagichanical fluidic nanobeads or fancy electrological shock absorber doodads.

    But then low tech and simple solutions that just work are never as cool as nano electronic opto whatsits. Certainly not as profitable.

  • Brute force (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ( 321932 ) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:51AM (#18747695) Homepage Journal
    Two separate efforts using technology to protect people from earthquakes (emphasis mine)

    As opposed to efforts using what, brute force?

    Fair enough, this is a bit of a troll, but it just makes me wonder if certain story submitters have figured out that a title with "Nanotech" and "Wireless" is best followed up with a starting line containing "Technology" in order to maximize story acceptance rate.

    Especially considering that the actual articles are remarkably low on content/references/links...

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