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'Invisible buildings', immune to 911 style terror attacks, a scientific possibility

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terror-atacksA REAL life "invisibility cloak" could be used to protect buildings from earthquakes and terror attacks, according to a new study.

Cloaking devices, of the type so famously used by Captain Kirk on the Starship Enterprise, have become a real prospect in recent years as scientists have developed means of making objects invisible to certain wavelengths in limited circumstances.

New research suggests a similar approach could be used to defend structures against earthquakes, terror attacks and other natural disasters.   Manchester University researchers have discovered that just like prototype cloaking devices make objects appear invisible by deflecting light around them pressurised rubber could be used to "hide" structures from shock waves produced by earthquakes, sending them around the structure rather than through it.

In a study published in the Writing in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A journal, Dr William Parnell said the technique could protect nuclear power plants, electric pylons and government buildings from natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

Dr Parnell said: “Significant progress has been made, both theoretically and practically in the area of cloaking.   “We showed theoretically that prestressing 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.   “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.”  

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