Tag Archives: compression

Focus on Physics: The Delightful Catenary Curve

When teaching how tension and compression relate to geometrical structures such as bridges, arches, and domes, I show a picture of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (Figure 1A), completed in the 14th century. I point out the elaborate buttresses that keep the walls from pushing outward while supporting its weight. Architects of the day […]

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Science of innovation: smart concrete

Scientists and engineers don’t necessarily start out to innovate, but unexpected things happen! This installment of the “Science of Innovation” video series describes how Dr. Deborah Chung, an expert in composite materials and structural science, was more-or-less “messing around” with materials just to see what would result. What Dr. Chung found could have a dramatic […]

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