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Earth Science

How a 'Seismic Cloak' Could Slow Down an Earthquake 101

Daniel_Stuckey writes "The United States is currently gripped in a bout of earthquake mania, following a series of significant tremors in the West. And any time Yellowstone, LA, or San Francisco shakes, people start to wonder if it's a sign of The Big One to come. Yet even after decades of research, earthquake prediction remains notoriously hard, and not every building in quake-prone areas has an earthquake-resistant design. What if, instead of quaking in our boots, we could stop quakes in their tracks? Theoretically, it's not a crazy idea. Earthquakes propagate in waves, and if noise-canceling headphones have taught us anything, it's that waves can be absorbed, reflected, or canceled out. Today, a paper published in Physical Review Letters suggests how that might be done. It's the result of French research into the use of metamaterials—broadly, materials with properties not found in nature—to modify seismic waves, like a seismic cloaking device."
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How a 'Seismic Cloak' Could Slow Down an Earthquake

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  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @05:08PM (#46634051) Homepage Journal

    If you can't artificially dampen the quake, the next most viable method would be to surround vulnerable locations with possible countersignal generators and turn on those that would interfere favorably for the protected area. This may have dramatic and destructive side-effects elsewhere...

    Like how 2 raindrops in a puddle can cancel the waves of a third in the middle, but send waves of their own radiating outward from their own epicenters.

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