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Building a Bridge

  1. Jan 3, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    In physics class, we are now starting to build free standing newspaper bridges. We are allowed to use only newspaper and glue, but we can use as much of those as possible, as long as it meets the following conditions:

    1. It must be less than 254 g (don't ask me why).
    2. It must be longer than 40 cm.

    The bridges will be stress tested by placing them on top of blocks that are 40 cm apart. A pneumatic piston with a rectangular plate on it (I don't know the exact dimensions of the plate, but I can find out tomorrow) will push down on the bride until it breaks.

    2. Relevant equations

    None known.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I was thinking of building a Warren truss bridge, as shown at:
    http://abcdpittsburgh.org/kids/kids.htm
    I'm not sure about the actual specifics, though. We haven't really learned anything about what makes a good bridge in class, but I'm thinking that the bridge's width should be equal to the plate's width for maximum weight distribution. Can I get some input?

    Sorry if I put this in the wrong forum. I wasn't sure if I should post this under physics or engineering or in homework or general.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2007 #2

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Sorry to ask such an obvious question, but this is such a common project, have you tried google? You would save us a lot of time if you could say what you've found on google so far, and what you'd like to improve through creative physics....
     
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