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What is an earthquake simulator?

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An earthquake simulator is any device that replicates seismic wave patterns that occur during earthquakes. Simulations are typically conducted in a laboratory setting where potential structural damage is analyzed.

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A common type of an earthquake simulator is called a shaking table. The multi-directional shaking table built by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center is one of the largest in the United States. It was mainly conceptualized by Professor Joseph Penzien, who was a faculty member of the University of California. The shaking table was specifically designed to move in six different directions, which include three translational and three rotational motions. A combination of these movements can be programmed by a computer to mimic various seismic vibrations.

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