Fwd: Band and Science

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Scott Hall

Sep 25, 2022, 12:34:27 AM9/25/22
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Cool project that makers at Ohio State came up with !

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Jay Baas <jay....@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Sep 24, 2022 at 7:59 PM
Subject: Band and Science
To: ros...@durhamband.org <ros...@durhamband.org>

COLUMBUS, Ohio—As an institution that values its football traditions and its academic research, The Ohio State University doesn’t just make big plays—it measures exactly how big those plays are, and uses the data to teach students valuable lessons in science.

That’s the gist of a new project under way here, where geologists have planted sensors around Ohio Stadium to measure the seismic activity generated by fans as they cheer on the Buckeyes.

In partnership with Miami University and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, professors in Ohio State’s School of Earth Sciences conceived of the project at the start of the 2016 football season as a way to help students get an intuitive sense of concepts in geology that are sometimes hard to grasp.

The general concept is pretty simple: As fans jump up and down, the vibrations under the stands are measured by seismographs, the instruments used to measure the power of earthquakes.

“We’ll feature the measurements in classes, so that undergraduates can engage with real-world data and connect it to an experience many of them have had in person,” said project leader Derek Sawyer, assistant professor of earth sciences at Ohio State, who brainstormed the project with Wendy Panero, associate professor, and Ann Cook, assistant professor. “At a more advanced level, we’ll use the data to teach data reduction and collection as well as wave propagation, earthquakes and the local geology. We’ve already achieved some exciting preliminary results.”

Among those early results: Music from The Ohio State University Marching Band amplifies fan quakes in a way the researchers didn’t expect.

“We expected that the most exciting plays would make the biggest fan quakes, and that's true,” explained Miami University geologist Michael Brudzinski, “but sometimes the fan quakes grow even larger after the play is done, because the music starts. The music helps the fans to jump in unison, which leads to even stronger shaking of the stands.”

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