It turns out that 8,000 tiny plastic disks in a rotating drum could help scientists develop a technique to forecast avalanches or earthquakes through sound.
A team of researchers studying granular materials at North Carolina State University set up an experiment to recreate stick-slip failure events—jolts of force from two things sliding against one another. These are the kinds of events that can lead to earthquakes, avalanches, and landslides on much larger scales. The researchers were able to pick out sound signatures not just of the failure, but of the straining leading up to failure.
“While acoustic emissions have previously been known to coincide with the failure of granular media, our method provides a new capability: assessment of the progress of a system en route to failure,” the researchers write in the journal Physical Review Letters.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.