Posted by: RJ the Fire Dog Blogger | March 5, 2012

Cloaking Device Could Protect Buildings from Disasters

Cloaking is no longer science fiction.

Avid fans of the television series Star Trek are familiar with the term: cloaking device. I’ve never been much of a television watcher, myself. I prefer looking out the window at the real world. In a turn proving the fact that truth is stranger than fiction, physicists from the University of St. Andrews In Kentucky have created a cloaking device that is literally capable of hiding 3D objects. In their paper published in the New Journal of Physics, the St. Andrew’s team explains that the new device hides microscopic objects from view as seen from any angle.

In the same way that cloaking devices make objects appear invisible by deflecting light around them, pressurized rubber could be used to “hide” structures from shock waves produced by earthquakes, sending them around the structure rather than through it. This is good news for building owners and property managers since cloaking could potentially defend structures against earthquakes and other natural disasters. It’s also good news for me because I could cloak my bones instead of burying them.

The whole idea of cloaking works because light is the means by which we see everything around us. For example, consider how light strikes a computer keyboard and then bounces back through the user’s pupils into the back of his or her eyes, enabling writers to see what they are typing. If something were to be placed under a keyboard that caused the light behind it to bend before it hit the keyboard, and then caused it to bend back on the other side before it came to our eyes, we’d see nothing but the table the keyboard is sitting on.

If cloaking technology had been available last year, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant might have been able to escape damage from the earthquake and associated tsunami. According to mathematicians from the University of Manchester, invisibility cloaks could be used to protect key structures such as nuclear power plants, government facilities, electric pylons and doghouses from earthquakes and terrorist attacks.

“Significant progress has been made, both theoretically and practically in the area of cloaking. We showed theoretically that stressing a naturally available material—rubber—leads to a cloaking effect from a specific type of elastic wave,” wrote Dr. William Parnell in The Proceedings of the Royal Society. “Our team is now working hard on more general theories and to understand how this theory can be realized in practice. 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.”

The new cloaking device won’t be on the market in the immediate future since the experiment used elements too small to be seen by the human or canine eye. After more research is done, it will eventually be sized up and expanded to cloak everyday objects such as buildings and bones. I, for one, can’t wait!

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJWestmore, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. What’s more, the NEW RJWestmore Property Messaging System is included FREE for all RJWestmore Online Training System users. Visit www.RJWestmore.com for more information.

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: