So what happens when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake strikes 80 miles away from your lab?
And this is in a country with what are likely the most stringent earthquake codes in the world:
Japan has gone much further than the United States in outfitting new buildings with advanced devices called base isolation pads and energy dissipation units to dampen the ground’s shaking during an earthquake.
The isolation devices are essentially giant rubber-and-steel pads that are installed at the very bottom of the excavation for a building, which then simply sits on top of the pads. The dissipation units are built into a building’s structural skeleton. They are hydraulic cylinders that elongate and contract as the building sways, sapping the motion of energy.
More photos from Tohoku University accompany today’s C&EN news story: Japan Fights for its Rising Sun.