Science Strikes a Blow for Safety; Inovation & Technology
Byline: RICHARD GRANT
SANDY Bell goes to work and `hits men with a hammer', according to her two-year-old son.
The `man' Dr Bell hits is an experimental artificial head used by defence scientists to understand what happens in the skull when it suffers a severe blow.
The inspiration for the project was a call from a colleague after Scottish bantamweight boxer Jim Murray died from a blood clot in his brain following a title bout.
During the 2am call, Bell and her colleague wondered whether the stealth technology that prevents nuclear submarines being detected by sonar could help save boxers' lives.
Bell, a scientist at the Defence Evaluation Research Agency, says: `We decided we had to find out exactly what happens inside the head when it is punched.'
At DERA's headquarters in Farnborough, Hampshire, advanced work has taken place for the Navy on how sound waves converted into electrical energy can be made to baffle or transmit sounds.
Some of this work led to flat panel loudspeakers, a technology since licensed to Verity for commercial exploitation.
Bell explains: `The human head is a just a structure made of certain materials, as is a submarine.
`In the case of submarines, we stop vibrational sound inside the vessel being transmitted into the sea. We also …
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Publication information: Article title: Science Strikes a Blow for Safety; Inovation & Technology. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Mail on Sunday (London, England). Publication date: August 3, 1997. Page number: 30. © 2009 Solo Syndication Limited. COPYRIGHT 1997 Gale Group.
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