Nobody knows how wind and ocean water work in tandem, but researchers at a Cape Henlopen lab are trying to figure it out.

By Bill Newcott
From the August 2019 issue

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There is nothing more irresistible to me than a sign that reads, in effect, “Keep Out.”

Without fail — you just know it — there is something absolutely fascinating going on beyond that sign. Even better, there’s also probably someone hellbent on keeping you from finding out what that something is.

 

Much of my career has been spent trying to get past “Keep Out” signs, so you can imagine my delight one recent day in Cape Henlopen State Park when I spotted a large gray building, right near the fishing pier, with a startling array of signs bearing some of the most fantastic cautions I’ve ever read:

“WARNING!!! DO NOT ENTER IF THE SIGN IS FLASHING. EXPERIMENT IN PROGRESS.”

“VISIBLE AND/OR INVISIBLE LASER RADIATION — AVOID EYE OR SKIN EXPOSURE TO DIRECT OR SCATTERED RADIATION.”

So many exclamation marks! This, I told myself, I’ve got to see.

A far more prosaic sign stands a few feet from the thrillingly ominous ones, identifying the building as something called the Air-Sea Interaction Lab, a facility belonging to the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean & Environment.

 

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