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Researchers Ponder Tsunami Invisibility Cloak; Off-shore Platforms, Coastlines, Islands Could Benefit

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PARIS, France -- Rather than building stronger ocean-based structures to withstand tsunamis, it might be easier to simply make the structures disappear.

A collaboration of physicists from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Aix-Marseille Universite in France and the University of Liverpool in England have conducted laboratory experiments showing that it's possible to make type of dike that acts as an invisibility cloak that hides off-shore platforms from water waves. The principle is analogous to the optical invisibility cloaks that are currently a hot area of physics research.

Tsunami invisibility cloaks wouldn't make structures disappear from sight, but they could manipulate ocean waves in ways that makes off-shore platforms, and possibly even coastlines and small islands, effectively invisible to tsunamis.

If the scheme works as well in the real world as the lab-scale experiments suggest, a tsunami should be able to pass right by with little or no effect on anything hidden behind the cloak.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of UnderwaterTimes.com, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

2 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

How is an invisibility cloak going to help a small unprotected island? A tsunami does not GO AFTER islands. It doesn't think, "Oh, look, a structure! Let me go destroy it!!" How is an invisibility cloak going to help at all?
   comment# 1   - Mazzi · Orlando, USA · Oct 8, 2008 @ 2:04pm

Invisible? These are elements of mass that occupy space ~ whether visible or not - its' there! So the actions' of sight and movement is governed-overcome simply by "cloaking" ~ what happened to the principle of matter existing in its' space no matter the form? This wave thought energy has not been able to devoid my wave thought energy telling me it still exist ... what of the waves of energy that would be generated and energized simply by being aware of the situation and desired results ... say on "the" island?
   comment# 2   - TAWilliams01 · Phoenix USA · Jan 1, 2012 @ 12:45pm
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