Physics Lens

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

This is a video that we usually will show during a lecture on the topic of Resonance, under the unit “Oscillations”.  It was taken in 1940 at the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington, USA. One of the main reasons (not the only reason – the other being aeroelastic flutter) for its collapse is the effect of resonance, which occurs when the driving frequency of the wind that hits the bridge matches the natural frequency of vibration of the bridge.

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