Physics Responsible for Crop Circles?

Tuesday, 02 Aug 2011 03:03 PM

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Countless theories have been formulated in hopes of explaining the existence of crops circles — aliens, mischievous children, and even drugged-up wallabies have all been blamed at one time or another for the creation of the mysterious designs. But now there is a new explanation in the works: physics.
 
In this month’s edition of Physics World, University of Oregon researcher Richard Taylor contends that the intricate patterns are purposely created through the use of GPS devices, lasers, and microwaves that cause corn stalks to fall flat under the pressure of extreme heat, reports Fox News
 
According to Taylor, mathematical analysis of crop circles has revealed the use of construction lines invisible to the naked eye. Where once crop-circlers used household items like ropes, wooden planks, and barstools to create the designs, more sophisticated tools are at work today.
 
GPS and lasers are both helpful, says Taylor, but the most innovative crop-circle technique is using microwaves that cause corn stalks to collapse and then cool horizontally. One research team claims to have created a design using only a 12V battery and a magnetron taken from a microwave oven. Taylor claims that using microwaves as a design tool could explain the speed, efficiency, and incredible attention to detail exhibited by crop-circle “artists.”
 
Usually reserved for alien conspiracy theorists, the subject of crop circles may have seemed to some like an odd topic for a scientist to address. But editor of Physics World Matin Durrani said Taylor was “merely trying to act like any good scientist — examining the evidence for the design and construction of crop circles without getting carried away by the side-show of UFOs, hoaxes, and aliens.”
 

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