Earthquakes are the result of plate tectonics, or shifting plates in the crust of Earth, and quakes occur when the frictional stress of gliding plate boundaries builds and causes failure at a fault line. In an earthquake, elastic strain energy is released and waves radiate, shaking the ground. Scientists can predict where major temblors might occur in a general sense, but research does not yet allow forecasts for specific locations or accurate predictions of timing. Major earthquakes, some generating tsunamis, have leveled entire cities and affected whole countries. Relatively minor earthquakes can also be induced, or caused by human activity, including extraction of minerals from Earth and the collapse of large buildings.
In the aftermath of earthquakes and explosions, collapsed buildings can be tough to navigate. Cockroaches’ capability to flatten themselves to fit tight spaces inspired UC Berkley roboticists to create creepy crawly robots.
The sonic booms that rattled residents of New Jersey up to Long Island, New York, yesterday may have been the result of flight testing of fighter jets at the Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, Maryland.
The boom was followed by nine others along the Eastern Seaboard from New Jersey to Long Island, New York. The cause of the booms remains elusive, with NASA, a Naval airbase and the Federal Aviation Authority saying they aren't responsible.