Tacoma Narrows Bridge was brought down by aeroelastic flutter, not resonance

Minute Physics explaines how the Tacoma Narrows Bridge got brought down a few decades ago. It wasn’t resonance as many would think. What really destroyed that bridge was aeroelastic flutter, a phenomenon where when the wind has a constant big enough speed it can twist a sheet of paper when hold tightly by its edges.

Basically, what is happened there was the cause of a constant wind that got to twist the bridge to a point where it would bend more and more until it broke into pieces. Resonance was thought to be the reason, but physics found the real guilty party here. So, when you think of air, think of the fact that it holds a lot of energy.

2 Responses to “Tacoma Narrows Bridge was brought down by aeroelastic flutter, not resonance”

  1. Thank you for the explanation. I am writing an article about the bridges of USA and I needed an explanation of what aeroelastic flutter means.

  2. “So, when you think of air, think of the fact that it holds a lot of energy.”

    and that’s what makes my boat go fast