New research could lead to ‘earthquake invisibility coat’.
Mathematicians at the University of Manchester have described a possible way to ‘hide’ key parts of buildings from earthquake wakes and vibrations, by coating them in pre-stressed rubber.
Dr Parnell has shown that by cloaking components of structures with pressurised rubber, powerful waves such as those produced by an earthquake would not ‘see’ the building – they would simply pass around the structure and thus prevent serious damage or destruction. The building, or important components within it, could theoretically be ‘cloaked’.
“If the theory can be scaled up to larger objects then it could be used to create cloaks to protect buildings and structures, or perhaps more realistically to protect very important specific parts of those structures.”