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Arch Bridge

Arch Bridge
Build a small arch bridge which will support your weight.

Bridge over troubled waters
Make bridge from blocks to cross a river.

Bubble Shapes
Investigate the bubble shapes produced by different wire frames.

Catenary Arch
Shows that the best shape to build a thin arch is the same as a hanging chain - or that the shape of the chain must lie within the arch.

Crystal Cracks
A rotating frame containing ball bearings makes patterns similar to those seen in crystal structures, as the balls pack together.

Fallen Arches
An arch made of wooden blocks. If you load the arch - it fails - but always with at least four cracks - why?

Flat Arch
The flatter the arch the greater the sideways force.

Flying Buttress
Demonstrates why churches and cathedrals need buttresses for support.

Galloping Gertie (Tacoma Narrows)
A video showing the collapse of the famous Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge.

Stacking Shapes
You can experiment by stacking ball bearings on different bases (square, circle, etc). Which ones produce regular crystal-like structures?

Suspension Bridge
Walk over the suspension bridge, notice the changes in shape. Feel where the forces are acting.

Under Stress
Polarised light reveals stress in a special plastic arch.

Wobbly Bridge
An arch bridge, built out of curved-sided blocks, moves to show forces in the bridge.

 
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