An American engineer has produced a mathematical model explaining the elegant shape of the Eiffel Tower that was derived from French engineer Gustave Eiffels writings regarding his own fears about the effects of wind on such a structure.
University of Colorado at Boulder Associate Professor Patrick Weidman said Eiffel, one of the premier structural engineers in history, was determined to build the worlds first tower reaching 300 meters, the nearest metric equivalent to 1,000 feet, into the sky. The tower was designed to be the centerpiece of the Worlds Exposition in Paris, marking the centennial of the French Revolution.
But such a tower, never having been successfully erected, raised a chronic concern of Eiffel that he expressed frequently in his communications. "Eiffel was worried about the wind throughout his building career," said Weidman of the CU-Boulder mechanical engineering department. "Although he was astoundingly bright, he was forced to rely on practical experience rather than mathematical calculations to estimate the effects of wind forces on structures."
Patrick Weidman | EurekAlert!
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