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Can Physics Explain Mysteries of Crop Circles?
Science and UFOs, as a rule, generally don't go together. UFOs and crop circles, however, go together like the Illuminati and the dark side of the moon. Crop circles and science? Again, not so much. But that doesn't mean the ever-increasing sophistication of corn circlework isn't beyond impressing top physicists.
"This summer, unknown artists will venture into the countryside close to your homes and carry out their craft, safe in the knowledge that they are continuing the legacy of the most science-oriented art movement in history."
Today's designs are more complex than ever, he says, with some featuring up to 2,000 different shapes. Mathematical analysis has revealed the use of construction lines, invisible to the eye, that are used to create the patterns. The difference today is that where crop-circlers once used ropes, planks of wood and bar stools, high tech has taken over: GPS helps a lot, he says. Lasers also have their place.
But the most innovative modern technique involves using microwaves to force corn stalks to fall over and cool horizontally. One research team claims to have reproduced damage inflicted on crops by using a handheld magnetron ripped from a microwave ovens and a 12V battery. The microwave technique could explain the speed and efficiency of the artists and the incredible detail that some crop circles exhibit, Taylor says.