Category: Engineering

Forces at Work: Cantilever Bridges

Cantilever bridges are subject to the two basic forces that are in effect for all bridges. These forces are compression and tension. In a cantilever bridge, with the space between the cantilevered portion spanned by a suspended deck, the compression and tension are straightforward. As you can see in this diagram above, from Merriam-Webster, a […]

Types of Bridges: Cantilever

There are four main types of bridges. The cantilever bridge is one type. It gets its name because it is built using cantilevers – horizontal structures that are supported on only one end. (Think diving board.) With a cantilever bridge, there is a structure that supports one end of the deck. This deck structure can […]

Forces at Work: Beam Bridges

Beam bridges are subject to the two basic forces that are in effect for all bridges. These forces are compression and tension. These forces are at work in a beam bridge in an arguably more direct manner than in other bridges. With a beam bridge, with its single deck, the deck itself is subject to […]

Bridge Book

I’ve been having a splendid time researching my book on the science of bridges. My most recent research has been into spectacular bridge failures. I have to say, I¬†will be looking at bridges in an entirely new way from now on – which is not a good thing, but an inevitable part of my job. […]

Nanotechnology: History

The capability to magnify objects by a factor of up to one million was made possible with the invention of the first transmission electron microscope (TEM) by German scientists Ernst Ruska and Max Knoll in 1931.With the TEM, it was finally possible to view things at the molecular level. Studies were made of the proteins that make up the human body. Metals were also studied. The TEM made all of this possible by focusing a beam of electrons to pass through an object, rather than by focusing light on the object as was done with traditional microscopes. Particles smaller than 200 nm were able to be viewed.

Nanotechnology: Why Bother?

You can tell a lot about an element from its position on the Periodic Table. In fact, the periodic table is designed to make information about the chemical properties of an element readily available. So all you need is the periodic table. Right? Not exactly. The periodic table tells you all about an element at the conventional scale. When you’re looking at an element at the nanoscale, things can change.

My Book is Out!

Modeling Ships and Space Craft: The Science and Art of Mastering the Oceans and Sky begins with the theories of Aristotle and Archimedes, moving on to examine the work of Froude and Taylor, the early aviators and the Wright Brothers, Goddard and the other rocket men, and the computational fluid dynamic models of our time. It examines the ways each used fluid dynamic principles in the design of their vessels.