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Pylons in Extreme Temperatures

  1. Apr 30, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Extreme temperatures have been known to cause some electricity supply pylons to collapse. Using your knowledge of physics, comment on why this happens.
    (This question is an 'open-ended' question and is worth three marks. One must explain the possible possible reason(s) for what is described in the question)
    (SQA National 5 Physics Specimen Paper)

    2. Relevant equations
    Assuming that 'extreme temperatures' means extremely cold temperatures, p=F/A could be used to show that a build up of ice on the cables connecting the pylons would put pressure on the cables and potentially pull a pylon down.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Explaining why p=F/A could be used gives me one mark, but after that, I'm stumped.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2015 #2

    BvU

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    What material are these pylons made of ?
     
  4. Apr 30, 2015 #3
    It doesn't say anything about material, although in my country, they tend to be steel.
     
  5. Apr 30, 2015 #4

    BvU

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    Is the elasticity of steel dependent on the temperature ?
     
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