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Rock-and-Roll Bridge

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Visit this site: http://www.maa.org/mathland/mathtrek_2_1_99.html

Author:Ivars Peterson (MathTrek)
Description: Startling scenes of rippling pavement, featured in a classic film that captured the 1940 destruction of the Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge in Washington state, rank among the most dramatic and widely known images in science and engineering. This old film, a staple of most elementary physics courses, has left an indelible impression on countless students over the years. The bridge's roadway undulates gently at first, then abruptly starts heaving and twisting violently until it finally breaks apart... alternative mathematical models that account for the undulations and gyrations shown by the bridge. What distinguishes suspension bridges is their fundamental nonlinearity, McKenna argues...

Levels: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Fourier Analysis/Wavelets, Nonlinear Dynamics, Engineering

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