A preview of "Infrastructure" Join Brilliant Premium

Infrastructure projects take the physics of ordinary objects and apply them at scales several orders of magnitude larger. The structures are subject to forces of nature we don't encounter at smaller scales, and exhibit so-called long range behaviors due to interactions among their components.

As such, we see phenomena at different length scales conspire in interesting ways.

We'll start out with simple questions like this:

Why do skyscrapers have greater reinforcement at the lower floors than in the higher ones?

By the end, you'll be able to answer questions like this:

Skyscrapers sway back and forth due to wind, tremors, and other causes. Where in the building should we place a swimming pool to dampen these oscillations?

In Infrastructure, you'll learn how

  • forces are dissipated in bridges, to enable large spans.
  • wind is redirected by airplanes to provide the lift force.
  • how traffic on roads is sometimes like a wave, but at other times is like an earthquake.
  • how skyscrapers keep from being torn apart by vibrations.

Master the problem solving skills of Physics of the Everyday.

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