Melting Snow May Trigger Earthquakes When snow accumulates on the mountains, pressure on faults increases. The weight of the snow on some mountains is a thousand kilograms per square meter. When the snow melts, it is like taking a weight off a spring, the ground moves and these movements may trigger an earthquake. In some snowy areas of Japan earthquakes are 3 times more likely to happen in spring or summer than in autumn or winter.
More details can be found at http://www.nature.com/nsu/030210/030210-13.html
Destroying Weapons of Mass Destruction with a Particle Accelerator Physicists from KEK in Tsukuba have proposed a method to address the problem of countries hiding nuclear weapons: these weapons could be destroyed with a strong beam of particles called "Neutrinos" directed toward them. Any nuclear weapon irradiated by this beam would be destroyed. Neutrinos have the property that they can traverse any material (see the December 2002 issue of the Alien Times for more details), thus wherever the weapons would be, they would be detected and destroyed. The only problem is that to produce such beam one need to build a particle accelerator of the size of the earth, so it remains a futuristic project...
More details at http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0305062
What do you do in your lab? In future issues, the Alien Times will present the research done in various labs of Tsukuba. The best people to describe each lab are the people working in these labs! So, if you want to present the work done in your lab, in your department or in your research group, contact nicolas[at]alientimes.org.
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