Structures and Shapes (Science Experiments)
The arch redistributes forces to maintain equilibrium
Beams and Rigidity: How does the vertical height of a beam affect its rigidity?
Humans have been busy building structures for almost as long as we have existed. The structures that we build, however, have changed dramatically over the last thousand years. We have learned to construct buildings that extend thousands of feet up, and we can build bridges that safely support tons of weight over immense stretches of water. What have we learned that enables us to build what our ancestors would have thought impossible?
The answer lies mainly in concepts about the nature of force and motion that Sir Isaac Newton (1642727) developed over three hundred years ago. Newton proposed a set of "laws" that clearly explain why and how objects move or remain still. These laws apply to the planning of structures like buildings and bridges because they must be designed to remain fixed in place and not be moved by the forces that act upon them.
One of Newton's laws tells us...
(The entire section is 2727 words.)
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