Thursday, August 23, 2012

Impressive new exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco

Director Stephen Mahin's recent research test for the NEEStips project at the nees@berkeley lab is featured in a new exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.  The new exhibit, called "EARTHQUAKE: Life on a Dynamic Planet," explores the seismic science that has shaped Earth’s evolution and continues to impact our lives today.

A key feature of the new exhibit is the Earthquake planetarium show, in the largest all-digital planetarium in the world.  The show explores the forces that transform the earth's surface by examining the San Andreas Fault and San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake.  The show concludes with a focus on how engineers today help buildings resist earthquake shaking safely and highlights the benefits of earthquake resisting features, such as seismic isolation.

The nees@berkeley staff and researchers worked closely with the California Academy of Sciences to film the seismically isolated two bay, two story specimen that was being tested on nees@berkeley's new hybrid shaking table.  The final resulting footage used in the planetarium show depicts the specimen being shaken as it zooms into a close up to one of the isolators.  If you go to see the planetarium show, be sure to look for the nees@berkeley team in the credits!

For more information about research highlighted in the planetarium show, watch an interview with Professor Mahin about the NEEStips testing at UC Berkeley.  Professor Keri Ryan of University Nevada, Reno is the PI of the NEEStips research program.

For more information about the California Academy of Science exhibit, visit the "EARTHQUAKE: Life on a Dynamic Planet" website.

To watch the Academy's "Science in Action" video trailer highlighting the filming process and the importance of earthquake engineering research at PEER and nees@berkeley, visit the ScienceToday website.

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