Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Physic classes were one of those, which interested me the most, Besides mathematics, religion and history. Philosophy, art and sports on the other hand were not really my subjects, even though the marks in the latter fields were sometimes better than in the first ones. I am not sure if it was the fact that we watched a lot of clips and performed experiments that kept my attention, but one of the most famous clips I remember was the video from the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Few minutes ago, during my daily YouTube minutes, a found a color movie of the actual collapse and – as usual – had to post it here. I wasn’t aware that there existed a color version of this footage. It might be a post-processed version of original material. Anyway, here is the footage:

A nice anecdote, related to this and given to any fluid dynamicist is the following:

After the collapse of the Tacoma Bridge, the governor of the
state of Washington made an emotional speech, in which he declared
“We are going to build the exact same bridge, exactly as before.”
Upon hearing this, the noted engineer Von Karman sent a telegram
to the governor stating “If you build the exact same bridge
exactly as before, it will fall into the exact same river exactly
as before.”


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January 2007
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