Thursday, January 12, 2006

Much Ado About next to Nothing

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connects Brooklyn and Staten Island (New York). Its 693 foot (211 meters) towers are about 4,260 feet apart (about 1,300 meters). They are 1.625 inches (4.1 cm) further apart at the top than at their bases, however, because of the curvature of the earth.

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is as tall as a 63 story building. It is designed to sway at total of 18 inches (45.7 cm) at the top. In a 50 mph (80 kph) wind it sways about 3 inches (7.6 cm) at the top. I have been up there when it was doing that. It's more of a "twang, twang" than a sway, like being inside of a tuning fork. Twang. Twang.

Because of the sun's heat, the Eiffel Tower is about 6 inches (15cm) taller in summer. Put another way, it shrinks 6 inches in the cold, but then what doesn't.

1 comment:

siren said...

I've been to the top of the Arch a couple times and swear I could feel it swaying...which was really disturbing since I'm terrified of heights :)
the worst part about being at the top when it starts to sway is having to get back into one of those little cages, which are also swaying