Earthquakes are like assassins of Nature who silently approach the victims without letting them know what is about to happen and then all of a sudden; BAM! The earthquake hits a specific place and causes havoc. The consequences of an earthquake are devastating; financially as well as in terms of human lives. In fact, Japan is still recovering from the earthquake that hit it 3 years ago. Predicting an earthquake has not been achieved by scientists yet, however, that is about to change since a crystallographer by the name of Friedemann Freund from San Jose State University in California has come up with a theory, which is aimed at predicting earthquakes.
According to his hypothesis, earthquakes are usually preceded by variation in Earth’s magnetic field, which occur in small series and if these variations can be detected accurately, then predicting an earthquake is possible. Freund and his team were able to notice a pattern after extensively studying several earthquakes and their respective situations. What they found out was quite amazing; before each earthquake that occurred, the magnetic pulses closer to the epi-centers became more active and stronger in nature.
According to the theory put forward by Freund, rocks possess crystals which are small and bonded with oxygen molecules. When fault line becomes active and the tectonic plates start moving; the rocks are squeezed and the oxygen bonds break resulting in release of electrons that carry a negative charge. The result is an electrical disturbance, which results in magnetic pulses. As the squeezing becomes stronger, so does the pulse’s strength.
As is with any theory that is put forward; a number of scientists do oppose this theory and have stated that the pulses might be due to a number of reasons other than the crystalline structure being squeezed. We do hope that Freund is on to something since predicting an earthquake can no doubt change how we are affected by them.