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Lord of the rings

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Science  21 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6335, pp. 236-238
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6335.236

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Summary

Under the corn and wheat fields of Fürstenfeldbruck, a village 20 kilometers from Munich, Germany, is a buried inverted pyramid of concrete, steel pipes, and lasers, as deep as a three-story building. Last month, lasers began coursing around the edges of this structure, called Rotational Motions for Seismology (ROMY). By keeping the structure stable and measuring tiny changes in the lasers' wavelengths, researchers can use ROMY to measure the twists and turns of Earth itself. And by sensing the weak rotations that accompany earthquakes, ROMY could pave the way for portable sensors that could herald a new field of rotational seismology.