How could the submarine’s depth be determined from measurements made very far away?
The answer is in this chapter.
In August 2000, as Russia’s Northern Fleet conducted exercises in the Barents Sea north of Russia, the nuclear submarine Kursk mysteriously sank. As word of the loss spread, seismologists from around the Northern Hemisphere realized that, on the day the Kursk sank, they had recorded unusual seismic waves originating in the Barents Sea. Analysis of the data suggested the reason the submarine sank, and—more surprising— it also revealed its depth.
One of the primary subjects of physics is waves. To see how important waves are in the modern world, just consider the music industry. Every piece of music you hear, from some retro-punk band playing in a campus dive to the most eloquent concerto playing on the Web, depends on performers producing waves and your detecting those waves. In between production and detection, the information carried by the waves might need to be transmitted (as in a live performance on the Web) or recorded and then reproduced (as with CDs, DVDs, or the other devices currently being developed in engineering labs worldwide). The financial importance of controlling music waves is staggering, and the rewards to engineers who develop ...