For decades, earthquake experts dreamed of being able to divine the time and place of the world's next disastrous shock. But by the early 1990s the behavior of quake-prone faults had proved so complex that they were forced to conclude that the planet's largest tremors are isolated, random and utterly unpredictable. Most seismologists now assume that once a major earthquake and its expected aftershocks do their damage, the fault will remain quiet until stresses in the earth's crust have time to rebuild, typically over hundreds or thousands of years. A recent discovery--
that earthquakes interact in ways never before imagined--
This article was originally published with the title Earthquake Conversations.