Elastic Waves in Architecture

Earthquakes have been destroying civilizations for as long as we can remember. They create tsunamis and rippling effects that continue long after the earthquake hits. They kill hundreds of thousands of people and thousands of people. How do we prevent Mother Nature from destroying our architecture and save lives? We can now do it with waves.


Wave bending has always been something of the future, but researchers are wave bending today in architecture. At the University of Missouri, researchers have developed a way to control elastic waves, which can travel through materials without changing their composition. This redirecting of shock waves could help prevent buildings from collapsing in seismic events.

The material is made from a geometric microstructure pattern, which would be made into metamaterial cloak that is around infrastructures and residential buildings. It would then take the energy of the earthquake and direct it around the building, protecting it and civilians from harm.1

The problem lies with how we bring this material into widespread architecture at an affordable rate. In 2012 the material was being tested in France, and is slowing being installed in newer buildings. I think this material should not be just for buildings that have yet to be built but for buildings that have already been built. This wave bending material will save buildings in our future to reduce the effects Mother Nature has on our architecture and civilian lives.


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