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How many geophysicists does it take to guess what is inside this can?

Perception and reality do not always match: and a single point of view seldom captures the multifaceted truth of nature. What can be seen, is only a ridiculously small and partial portion of the reality; as geophysicists, we can become very modest about our perceptions. At least professionally we try to combine different observations, points[…]

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Put your seismic eyeglasses on! Correcting near surface perturbations

The diplopia is a pathological vision condition, in which two images of a single object are seen: also called double vision, it can be temporarily caused by alcohol intoxication, head injuries, tiredness of the eye muscles. Our brain receives two superimposed images, shifted or rotated. Identifying the position of objects becomes very difficult: I imagine[…]

Seismic exploration for pharaonic alabaster

There’s a bit of confusion around the name alabaster. Strictly speaking, for geologists it indicates a fine-grained gypsum. But archaeologists call alabaster the fine-grained, banded deposits of calcite used by the ancient Egyptians for statues, jars, canopic vases. The ancient Egyptians carved this alabaster stone to make small ointment jars called alabastri, in a town called Alabastron:[…]

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2+2=5 in geophysics. Anomalies, uncertainties and pataphysics: just blame it to the wind

Anomalies “In all attempts made until today to prove that 2+2=4, nobody has ever considered the wind velocity” writes Raymond Queneau in a short writing called A Few Brief Remarks on the Aerodynamic Properties of Addition. Queneau, was a member of the «College de ‘Pataphysique », a collective of avant-garde writers and artists, created in[…]