Japan’s National Project for Earthquake Prediction has been conducted since 1965 without success. An earthquake prediction should be a short-term prediction based on observable physical phenomena or precursors. The main reason of no success is the failure to capture precursors. Most of the financial resources and manpower of the National Project have been devoted to strengthening the seismographs networks, which are not generally effective for detecting precursors since many of precursors are non-seismic. The precursor research has never been supported appropriately because the project has always been run by a group of seismologists who, in the present author’s view, are mainly interested in securing funds for seismology — on pretense of prediction. After the 1995 Kobe disaster, the project decided to give up short-term prediction and this decision has been further fortified by the 2011 M9 Tohoku Mega-quake. On top of the National Project, there are other government projects, not formally but vaguely related to earthquake prediction, that consume many orders of magnitude more funds. They are also un-interested in short-term prediction. Financially, they are giants and the National Project is a dwarf. Thus, in Japan now, there is practically no support for short-term prediction research. Recently, however, substantial progress has been made in real short-term prediction by scientists of diverse disciplines. Some promising signs are also arising even from cooperation with private sectors.
The mass sensitivity of quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM) was drastically improved by removing electrodes and wires attached on the quartz surfaces. Instead of wire connections, intended vibrations of quartz oscillators were excited and detected by antennas through electromagnetic waves. This noncontacting measurement is the key for ultrahigh-sensitive detection of proteins in liquids as well as quantitative measurements. This review shows the principle of wireless QCMs, their applications to studying interactions among biomolecules and aggregation reactions of amyloid β peptides, and the next-generation MEMS QCM, the resonance acoustic microbalance with naked embedded quartz (RAMNE-Q).
Non-relativistic Faddeev and Faddeev-Yakubovsky calculations were made for K−pp, K−ppn, K−K−p and K−K−pp kaonic nuclear clusters, where the quasi bound states were treated as bound states by employing real separable potential models for the K−-K− and the K−-nucleon interactions as well as for the nucleon-nucleon interaction. The binding energies and spatial shrinkages of these states, obtained for various values of the K interaction, were found to increase rapidly with the K interaction strength. Their behaviors are shown in a reference diagram, where possible changes by varying the K interaction in the dense nuclear medium are given. Using the Λ(1405) ansatz with a PDG mass of 1405 MeV/c2 for K−p, the following ground-state binding energies together with the wave functions were obtained: 51.5 MeV (K−pp), 69 MeV (K−ppn), 30.4 MeV (K−K−p) and 93 MeV (K−K−pp), which are in good agreement with previous results of variational calculation based on the Akaishi-Yamazaki coupled-channel potential. The K−K−pp state has a significantly increased density where the two nucleons are located very close to each other, in spite of the inner NN repulsion. Relativistic corrections on the calculated non-relativistic results indicate substantial lowering of the bound-state masses, especially of K−K−pp, toward the kaon condensation regime. The fact that the recently observed binding energy of K−pp is much larger (by a factor of 2) than the originally predicted one may infer an enhancement of the K interaction in dense nuclei by about 25% possibly due to chiral symmetry restoration. In this respect some qualitative accounts are given based on “clearing QCD vacuum” model of Brown, Kubodera and Rho.
In the last week of November 2012, we announced that a strong electrotelluric disturbance, which we judged to be a Seismic Electric Signal (SES) activity, was recorded at station Assiros located in Northern Greece. This disturbance was actually followed by an Mw5.8 earthquake on 8 January 2013 in North-Eastern Aegean Sea. Here we show that, by analyzing this SES activity and employing the natural time analysis of subsequent seismicity, we estimated the epicentral location, magnitude and occurrence time which are reasonably compatible with those of the Mw5.8 event.