Sat, Aug 19, 2017 | updated 09:11 AM IST

'Indestructible' bridges come closer to reality

Updated: Jul 14, 2016 12:48 IST      
'Indestructible' bridges come closer to reality

Washington D.C, Jul 14 (ANI): Soon, we might have bridges that cannot be destructed.

The University of Warwick researchers have taken a design process called 'form-finding', inspired by the natural world, to another level.

Form-finding enables the design of rigid structures that follow a strong natural form - structures that are sustained by a force of pure compression or tension, with no bending stresses, which are the main points of weakness in other structures.

This could, for the first time, lead to the design of bridges and buildings that can take any combination of permanent loading without generating complex stresses.

Such structures will have enhanced safety, and long durability, without the need for repair or restructuring.

Researcher Wanda Lewis has been developing mathematical models that implement nature's design principles and produce simple stress patterns in structures. The principles behind her mathematical models are illustrated using physical form-finding experiments involving pieces of fabric or chains, for example.

A piece of fabric is suspended and allowed to relax into its natural, gravitational, minimum energy shape; then that shape is frozen into a rigid object and inverted. She finds the coordinates of this shape through computation by simulating the gravitational forces applied to the structure. This produces a shape (a natural form) that can withstand the load with ease.

Lewis argues that "nature's design principles cannot be matched by conventional engineering design."

While classical architectural designs are appealing to the eye, they aren't necessarily structurally sound: "aesthetics is an important aspect of any design, and we have been programmed to view some shapes, such as circular arches or spherical domes as aesthetic. We often build them regardless of the fact that they generate complex stresses, and are, therefore, structurally inefficient," said Lewis.

The work is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. (ANI)

Indian researchers discover two new species of earthworm

Updated: Aug 19, 2017 06:57 IST     

New Delhi [India], Aug 19 (ANI): A team of Indian researchers has discovered two new primitive species of earthworm in the Western Ghats mountain ranges in Kerala.

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New Delhi [India], Aug 18 (ANI): Two recent studies have highlighted effective ways of reducing antibiotic consumption without any disadvantage for patients.

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Japan introduces solar heat-blocking pavements

Updated: Aug 17, 2017 14:10 IST     

Tokyo [Japan], Aug.16 (ANI): The host city of Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, Tokyo is working on heat blocking methods during the summer.

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New Delhi [India], August 17 (ANI): The Fortis Foundation recently launched two charitable medical dispensaries at the Anubhavi Ashram in Haridwar, Uttarakhand and at the Aggarwal Dharamshala in New Delhi.

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Nagpur (Maharashtra) [India], Aug.15 (ANI): The public sector Oil and Natural Gas Coroporation (ONGC) has extended a support of Rs 100 crore to turn the vision of affordable world class cancer care facilities in Central India into reality.

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Are tidally-locked exoplanets more common than believed?

Updated: Aug 15, 2017 10:16 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 15 (ANI): There's a possibility for a lot more exoplanets to be tidally locked, according to new research.

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Robots lend a helping hand to esophageal surgeons

Updated: Aug 13, 2017 05:25 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 13 (ANI): Robots are no longer just useful tools to make life easy and convenient; turns out, some of them can offer key advantages in esophageal surgeries.

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Are USB connections putting your data at risk?

Updated: Aug 11, 2017 04:21 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 11 (ANI): Turns out, USB connections, the most common interface used globally to connect external devices to computers, make snooping easy.

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Turns out, you can catch 'Science' bug from peers

Updated: Aug 10, 2017 07:17 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 10 (ANI): According to a recent study, developing an interest in Science as is simple as sitting next to a bunch of students fascinated by the topic.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 9 (ANI): During a walk near a reservoir in a small Japanese town, amateur collectors made the discovery of their lives - the first and oldest fossil bird ever identified in their country.

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Ocean's fastest shark at risk of being 'overfished'

Updated: Aug 09, 2017 01:46 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 9 (ANI): Overfishing is putting the ocean's fastest shark at risk, according to a recent research.

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20-month-olds can understand difference between two languages

Updated: Aug 08, 2017 07:12 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 8 (ANI): Are two languages at a time too much for the infant mind? According to a recent study, babies as young as 20 months can understand a lot more than you'd think.

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Washington D.C. [USA], August 7 (ANI): Researchers have developed a learning method to change cognitive function by manipulating connections in the brain.

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Kicking butts to the curb

Updated: Aug 07, 2017 00:57 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 7 (ANI): Cigarette butts are more than mere litter and now, a team of scientists has found a way to pave over the big problem.

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Desert tortoises can't take heat of roadside fencing

Updated: Aug 06, 2017 13:55 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], August 6 (ANI): US researchers have revealed that roadside fencing, which is meant to help desert tortoise, can actually overheat them leading to their death.

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Scientists unveil how brain works with the help of magic

Updated: Aug 02, 2017 14:58 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], August 2 (ANI): To tap into brain's 'out-of-the box' thinking, scientists are now relying on magic tricks and illusions.

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Climate change could put rare bat species at greater risk

Updated: Aug 02, 2017 13:52 IST     

New Delhi [India], Aug 02 (ANI): An endangered bat species with a UK population of less than 1,000 could be further threatened by the effects of global warming, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

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London [UK], July 31 (ANI): If you are tired of trying every means to fight obesity, then this new discovery might help you to rethink.

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Climate change may cause more rain, nitrogen runoff

Updated: Jul 29, 2017 11:36 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], July 29 (ANI): An intensifying water cycle will likely cause dramatic increases - nearing 20 percent by 2100 - in the amount of nitrogen runoff in the U.S., according to a new study.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Jul 27 (ANI): A recent atomic discovery has paved the way for greener, faster, smaller electronic circuitry.

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