University of Manchester mathematicians have developed the theory for a Harry Potter style ‘cloaking’ device which could protect buildings from earthquakes.
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’ …
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