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Laughing hyenas, wailing levees, the sound of cheese and blaring bagpipes
Date:4/24/2009

investigating using the bubbles to transport small doses of drugs. "If you're trying to deliver a nasty drug to part of the body, this may be a way to improve safety," says Lindner.

The talk "Targeted microbubble technology and ultrasound-mediated gene delivery" (4aBB2) by Jonathan Lindner is at 8:20 a.m. on Thursday, May 21, 2009. Abstract: http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may09/asa791.html


4) SINGING SCREWS REVEAL SICK STRUCTURES

In 2006, a concrete panel weighing several thousand pounds fell onto traffic in Boston's Big Dig tunnel, crushing a car and killing a motorist. The alleged cause -- and subject of a multi-million dollar settlement -- was faulty epoxy that allowed bolts in the ceiling to wiggle loose. Mechanical engineer Joe Guarino of Boise State University in Idaho is developing an early warning system to prevent such catastrophic joint failures in the future. His team listens to the sounds made by vibrating bolts. Their analysis of how these sounds change as the bolts unscrew has revealed certain frequencies in these noises that could be monitored to check the health of bolts in buildings, bridges, and tunnels.

Guarino and his team work on a full-scale structural model made of steel beams and girders connected by bolts. They tap the structure with a hammer, causing it to vibrate. The sounds made by the vibrating bolts are recorded by an electronic stethoscope, similar in design to the stethoscopes used by doctors. Then the engineers unscrew the bolts a bit, tap the structure again, and listen for changes in the sounds. "Any slight relaxation in a joint can change the way it vibrates," says Guarino.

Using a pattern detection technique called the continuous wavelet transform, the team can pick out which ranges of frequencies change the most. Their results suggest that the signatures of unscrewing may be
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Contact: Jason Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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