Wednesday, December 14, 2011

One-Minute Physics: How wind can take down a bridge

In physics textbooks, the dramatic collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940 is often attributed to resonance. But in this animation, producer Henry Reich explains how a destructive, self-feeding vibration is actually responsible for the disaster. The same phenomenon can also cause airplane wings to shake so vigorously that they disintegrate or it can make swings appear to move on their own in a ghostly fashion.
If you enjoyed this video, check out previous episodes in this series for example how to break the speed of light in your backyard or an explanation of this year's Nobel-winning theory.

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