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Don't Feel, or See, A Thing

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OK, our science days are long behind us, but let's see if we can break this New Scientist article down to layman's terms: Scientists are working on developing technology that makes buildings "invisible" to earthquakes, specifically surface temblors rather than quakes that come from deep within the Earth. In actuality, it sounds like they've developed these cones that absorb the shaking and keep it outside of the building's surface: "The new theoretical [invisibility] cloak comprises a number of large, concentric rings made of plastic fixed to the Earth's surface. The stiffness and elasticity of the rings must be precisely controlled to ensure that any surface waves pass smoothly into the material, rather than reflecting or scattering at the material's surface." The cones will be built right into the foundations of buildings. As far as earthquakes that emanate from way below—called "body waves"—there's no answer yet, scientists say they're too complex to make invisible. [New Scientist]