Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > ‘Invisibility’ cloak could protect buildings from earthquakes

Abstract:
University of Manchester mathematicians have developed the theory for a Harry Potter style 'cloaking' device which could protect buildings from earthquakes.

‘Invisibility’ cloak could protect buildings from earthquakes

Manchester, UK | Posted on February 14th, 2012

Dr William Parnell's team in the University's School of Mathematics have been working on the theory of invisibility cloaks which, until recently, have been merely the subject of science fiction.

In recent times, however, scientists have been getting close to achieving ‘cloaking' in a variety of contexts. The work from the team at Manchester focuses on the theory of cloaking devices which could eventually help to protect buildings and structures from vibrations and natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Writing in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 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'.

This ‘invisibility' could prove to be of great significance in safeguarding key structures such as nuclear power plants, electric pylons and government offices from destruction from natural or terrorist attacks.

This is one of the latest ‘cloaking' technologies to be developed - a technique which makes an object near-invisible to waves whether they be light, sound or vibration.

The science fiction concept of the Cloak of Invisibility is of course most famously known from the Harry Potter books and films. But according to scientists, the scientific reality is not far behind.

Initial research into cloaking from light waves began about six years ago, but very little work has been done on waves in solid bodies such as waves produced by earthquakes despite its fundamental importance in a number of areas including the protection of buildings and their components.

Dr Parnell said: "Significant progress has been made, both theoretically and practically in the area of cloaking.

"Five or six years ago scientists started with light waves, and in the last few years we have started to consider other wave-types, most importantly perhaps sound and elastic waves. The real problem with the latter is that it is normally impossible to use naturally available materials as cloaks.

"We showed theoretically that pre-stressing a naturally available material - rubber - leads to a cloaking effect from a specific type of elastic wave. Our team is now working hard on more general theories and to understand how this theory can be realised in practice.

"This research has shown that we really do have the potential to control the direction and speed of elastic waves. This is important because we want to guide such waves in many contexts, especially in nano-applications such as in electronics for example.

"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."

Notes for editors

The associated paper, Parnell, William J., 2012, "Nonlinear pre-stress for cloaking from antiplane elastic waves", Proc. Roy. Soc. A 468: 563-580, doi:10.1098/rspa.2011.0477, is available on request from the Press Office.

Dr Parnell is available for interview.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Daniel Cochlin
Media Relations Officer
The University of Manchester
44 0161 275 8387

Copyright © University of Manchester

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Leti Will Demo World’s-first WVGA 10-µm Pitch GaN Microdisplays for Augmented Reality Video at Display Week in Los Angles: Invited Paper also Will Present Leti’s Success with New Augmented Reality Technology That Reduces Pixel Pitch to Less than 5 Microns May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries May 19th, 2017

Discoveries

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries May 19th, 2017

Plasmon-powered upconversion nanocrystals for enhanced bioimaging and polarized emission: Plasmonic gold nanorods brighten lanthanide-doped upconversion superdots for improved multiphoton bioimaging contrast and enable polarization-selective nonlinear emissions for novel nanoscal May 19th, 2017

Materials/Metamaterials

Stanford scientists use nanotechnology to boost the performance of key industrial catalyst May 18th, 2017

Self-healing tech charges up performance for silicon-containing battery anodes May 15th, 2017

Discovery of new transparent thin film material could improve electronics and solar cells: Conductivity is highest-ever for thin film oxide semiconductor material May 6th, 2017

CCNY physicists demonstrate photonic hypercrystals for control of light-matter interaction May 5th, 2017

Announcements

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Leti Will Demo World’s-first WVGA 10-µm Pitch GaN Microdisplays for Augmented Reality Video at Display Week in Los Angles: Invited Paper also Will Present Leti’s Success with New Augmented Reality Technology That Reduces Pixel Pitch to Less than 5 Microns May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries May 19th, 2017

Construction

Russian scientists create new system of concrete building structures: Sientists of Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University developed a new construction technology April 24th, 2017

Next-gen steel under the microscope March 18th, 2017

Graphene foam gets big and tough: Rice University's nanotube-reinforced material can be shaped, is highly conductive February 13th, 2017

New low-cost technique converts bulk alloys to oxide nanowires January 24th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project