Rocking the House

Researchers shake a full-size house to find out what happens to a wooden building during an earthquake.

By Sid Perkins, 00:00 AM January 22, 2007

Imagine what it might be like if you were in your bedroom during an earthquake. Your bed shakes. Books and stuffed animals tumble from shelves. Your computer monitor skitters across your desk and crashes to the floor. The walls creak and groan as they flex.

In a very big earthquake, your whole house could collapse.

To get a better idea of what might happen to an ordinary house during an earthquake, engineers did an experiment—a big one. In one corner of a building the size of an airplane h...

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