Monday, March 22, 2010

Tacoma Bridge

You may have seen this astonishing footage of the swaying and collapse of the Tacoma Bridge in 1940. The problem was that in the wind storm it went into resonance with it's own speed of vibration, so it went into feedback and and the swaying got stronger and stronger. It collapsed like a wine glass in the right musical note.

What amazes me, though, is that even under this tremendous swaying, the bridge still held out for over an hour! That's some strong sh*t there.


Bill said:
I'm always amazed by that footage. I studied aerodynamics in college and love the physics involved with the collapse. I especially find it interesting how the bridge motion was primarily twisting, not side-to-site or up-and-down as can been seen by watching the centerline of the road at about 2:10 in the video. It's also good to remember that bridge designs changed considerably after the collapse to prevent it from happening again.

Yes, they have to do something to change the "note" of the bridge, like holding down a guitar string.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, March 22, 2010   2 comments links to this post

2 Comments:

At 22 Mar 2010 00:49:00, Blogger Bill said...

I'm always amazed by that footage. I studied aerodynamics in college and love the physics involved with the collapse. I especially find it interesting how the bridge motion was primarily twisting, not side-to-site or up-and-down as can been seen by watching the centerline of the road at about 2:10 in the video. It's also good to remember that bridge designs changed considerably after the collapse to prevent it from happening again.

 
At 22 Mar 2010 13:51:00, Blogger Tommy said...

Thanks EO, I hadn't seen a video that was this long and covered so much of the bridges demise.

Of course, I have to question the sanity of that professor that went after the dog in the car.. :-)

 

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