Science: Better Bomb Detection

The bitter and continuing argument about the possibility of detecting clandestine bomb tests took a turn last week in favor of the optimists—those scientists who believe a detection network to be feasible. The U.S. Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency issued a four-page booklet stating that "there may be substantially fewer earthquakes that produce signals equivalent to an underground nuclear explosion of given yield than had been expected." All by itself, that brief statement represented quite a switch; the Defense Department has usually favored the attitude that secret Russian underground tests could not be distinguished from natural earthquakes except by dozens...

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