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published by the Internet Archive
This web page contains the original footage of the 1940 collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, a mile-long suspension bridge in the state of Washington. The collapse occurred due to strong gusting winds which drove the span into large-amplitude oscillatory motion. The footage is 2 minutes, 35 seconds in length.
The collapse of the bridge was recorded on film by Barney Elliott, owner of a Tacoma camera shop. In 1998, The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." The sound track which accompanies this archived film clip is also an historic item, originally recorded for a 1940's documentary.
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This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Wave Energy
Unit Title: Standing Waves and Resonance
The phenomenon of resonance becomes very important in structural engineering, as can be observed in this historic video of the 1940 collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The famous suspension bridge disaster occurred when high wind gusts set up a resonant vibration in the bridge, causing large-amplitude oscillatory motion. This video was digitally reformatted from the original film footage shot on the scene.Link to Unit:
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Internet Archive: Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse:
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Is a Student Extra Of Physics Classroom: Resonance
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