Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Seismology (derived from Greek word Seismos meaning Earthquake and Logos meaning science) is the science of Earthquakes and related phenomena.

Earthquakes are the manifestations of sudden release of strain energy accumulated in the rocks over extensive periods of time in the upper part of the Earth.


An earthquake that follows a large magnitude earthquake called, ‘main shock’ and originates in or around the rupture zone of the main shock. Generally, major earthquakes are followed by a number of aftershocks, which show a decreasing trend in magnitude and frequency with time.


A weak plane in the Earth's crust and upper mantle along which two blocks of rock mass rupture or slip past each other. Faults are caused by earthquakes and earthquakes are likely to reoccur on pre-existing faults, where stresses are accumulated.

Seismograph/ Seismogram

Seismograph is an instrument that records the ground motions. Seismogram is a continuous written record of an earthquake recorded by a seismograph.

Classification of earthquakes


Magnitude on Richter Scale


Upto 4.9


5.0 to 6.9


7.0 to 7.9

Very Great

8.0 and more


It is the point on the surface of the earth, vertically above the place of origin (hypocentre) of an earthquake. This point is expressed by its geographical Coordinates in terms of latitude and longitude.

Hypocentre or Focus:

It is the point within the earth, from where seismic waves originate. Focal depth is the vertical distance between the Hypocentre (Focus) and Epicentre


It is a quantity to measure the size of an earthquake and is independent of the place of the observation.

Richter Scale:

The local magnitude is defined as the logarithm of the maximum amplitude measured in microns on a seismogram written by Wood-Anderson seismograph with free period of 0.8 second, magnification of 2,800, damping factor of 0.8 calculated to be at a distance of 100 kms. The relative size of events is calculated by comparison to a reference event of ML=0,using the formula, ML=log A-log Ao

where A is the maximum trace amplitude in micrometer recorded on a standard seismograph and Ao is a standard value which is a function of epicentral distance (Δ) in kilometers.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


The bridge is modelled in the shape of an arch. It could be viewed like an acoustic wave forming a tone compatible with an opera. It could also be viewed like a dune or a new moon in Dubai night.

The project, the biggest ever single road project launched by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), also include new road developments with 12km new roads and 22 intersections in the surrounding areas,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA.

The total cost of the project is around Dh3 billion, including Dh2.5 billion for the new bridge.

It will be a new landmark in Dubai,” Al Tayer told a press conference yesterday. The bridge is 1.6-km long, 64 metres wide and 15 metres above the water level. It will have 12 lanes and track for the Green Line of Dubai Metro. It will have a capacity of around 20,000 vehicles per hour. The bridge will have a metro station, abra station, and a new island that will be built on the Creek, with a theatre for staging various events. The giant arch at the bridge will be 205 metres high and 667 metres long becoming the longest arch-bridge ever built in the world.

Maitha said the project will be divided into six phases to expedite the construction work. The first stage includes construction works of the Sixth Crossing at Dubai Creek. The second phase includes construction of intersections at Deira side to serve The Lagoon and Dubai Festival City. The Third Phase includes implementation of intersections at Deira side extending from Nad Al Hamar up to Al Aweer Road.

Phase Four includes building of intersections in Bur Dubai linking the Sixth Crossing with Ras Al Khor (Business Bay Crossing).Phase Five includes construction of intersections in Bur Dubai linking the Sixth Crossing with Shaikh Rashid Road and the Al Garhoud Bridge.The Sixth Phase includes construction of intersections in Bur Dubai linking Ras Al Khor with Oud Metha Road and the Parallel Roads.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


A machine that captivates the gaze. I've long been fascinated by the the Suzuki Hayabusa. I think it will be only a short time until I own one.Each trip to the dealer to check out this bike is like a pilgrimage to Mecca. To those of us who saw the sport bike evolve over the last 15 years. From the '86 GSXR750 to where we stand today, this bike is by far the pinnacle of progress.

The Hayabusa in unlike anything I have ever ridden before. It's more refined than my ZX-11. When you rev the motor and accelerate off into the distance, it feels designed for this. As if it's sole purpose were entrenched in allowing the ride to travel at any velocity in relative safety and ease.

The Falcon has landed! The iconic Hayabusa, Japanese for the peregrine falcon, which is the fastest bird when it dives for a kill, is Suzuki's hyper-tourer. The new for 2008 Hayabusa has a 1340cc liquid-cooled four-cylinder engine with nearly 200bhp, and given enough room, can accelerate to over 300kph. The Intruder on the other hand, is a surly, burly power cruiser, boasting a huge 1783cc V-twin. This is Suzuki's most powerful cruiser ever.

I realize now the level of discipline and restraint it requires to own this bike. Well, maybe I wouldn't call it restraint, but just plain discipline. The whole package takes some readjusting as to what you might think of as normal. You're headed down the freeway, the speedometer indicates 70 mph, yet it barely seems to have risen around it's circular path.The bikes have been launched in 7 cities – Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai and Ahmedabad, and will cost Rs 12.5 lakh each, ex-showroom. The same price applies across the country.

Given the current economic recession, sales may not be as big Suzuki might have hoped for, but the fact remains that Indians are warming up to powerful stylish motorcycles, a fact vindicated by the strong sales of Japanese rival Yamaha's products.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Helicopters are in big demand these days thanks to the elections in some states. The most popular choice of wings is the Bell 407 which makes up the bulk of the 40 orders for which import permission has been given. While most companies have gone in for one import permission, companies like A K Aviation in Mumbai, Skymaster Aviation and K R Chawla Pvt Ltd in Delhi have placed multiple import orders.

While the names of charter companies may seem obscure, most of these are the aviation arms of corporates. For instance, Ryan Air Services which got permission to import one Bell 430 in September is promoted by Ranbaxy. Similarly, Jupiter Aviation of Bangalore is promoted by former BPL chief Rajeev Chandrashekar it plans to import one Eurocopter AS 365 N3.

The demand has certainly been high this time around. “Today if you want to book a helicopter, you won’t get one,’’ says Capt Uday Gelli, president, western region, Rotary Wing Society of India. Political parties block the choppers the day the nominations are announced. “As six states are going to the polls, the demand is extremely high this time around,’’ he adds.

“The cost of chartering a helicopter varies from Rs 70,000 to Rs 1 lakh for an hour, depending on the aircraft type. Different companies have different permutations for working out the cost, but the current norm in the industry is that if a chopper is hired for a month, one has to pay for at least 90 hours (three hours a day), whatever the usage may be,’’ says Capt Gelli.

The current lot of 40 import permissions will make a difference only in the parliamentary elections slated to be held next year. While the trend in this country is to buy helicopters prior to every parliamentary election, the current rise in supply is unprecedented. Hence a word of caution from the industry.

It remains to be seen how many of these import permissions will actually translate into purchases,’’ says Capt Gelli. “Some people have postponed their plans due to the economic slowdown others have applied for more import permissions than they need to save on time and effort.

But helicopter manufacturers are optimistic. “India has the fastest growing market,’’ Greg Hubbard, Bell’s director of communications, said during an aviation show held last month in Hyderabad. Bell, which claims to have a 52% market share in the country’s chopper industry, has forecast a 16-17% growth rate in India. This is high, considering that the growth rate has dropped to less than 5% in the developed economies of the US and Europe.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Nuclear energy is the energy that is trapped inside each atom. The ancient Greeks believed that the smallest part of nature is an atom. But they did not know 2000 years ago that atoms are made up of further smaller particles a nucleus of protons and neutrons, surrounded by electrons, which swirl around the nucleus much like the earth revolves around the sun.

One of the laws of the universe is that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

But they can be changed in form. Matter can be changed into energy. Albert Einstein’s famous mathematical formula E = mc2 explains this. The equation says: E [energy] equals m [mass] times c2 [c stands for the speed or velocity of light]. This means that it is mass multiplied by the square of the velocity of light.

Scientists used Einstein's equation as the key to unlock atomic energy and to create atomic bombs.

An atom's nucleus can be split apart. This is known as fission. When this is done, a tremendous amount of energy in the form of both heat and light is released by the initiation of a chain reaction. This energy, when slowly released, can be harnessed to generate electricity. When it is released all at once, it results in a tremendous explosion as in an atomic bomb.

Nuclear energy can also be harnessed by fusion. A fusion reaction occurs when two hydrogen atoms combine to produce one helium atom. This reaction takes place at all times in the sun, which provides us with the solar energy. This technology is still at the experimental stage and may become viable in future.

Uranium is the main element required to run a nuclear reactor where energy is extracted. Uranium is mined from many places around the world. It is processed (to get enriched uranium, i.e. the radioactive isotope) into tiny pellets. These pellets are loaded into long rods that are put into the power plant's reactor. Inside the reactor of an atomic power plant, uranium atoms are split apart in controlled chain reaction. Other fissile material includes plutonium and thorium.