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Super Structures

The Science of Bridges, Buildings, Dams, and Other Feats of Engineering

Mark Denny

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Ever wonder how a graceful and slender bridge can support enormous loads over truly astonishing spans? Why domes and free-standing arches survive earthquakes that flatten the rest of a city?

Physicist Mark Denny looks at the large structures around us—tall buildings, long bridges, and big dams—and explains how they were designed and built and why they sometimes collapse, topple, or burst.

Denny uses clear, accessible language to explain the physics behind such iconic structures as the Parthenon, the Eiffel Tower, the Forth Rail Bridge in Edinburgh, and Hoover Dam. His friendly approach allows…

Ever wonder how a graceful and slender bridge can support enormous loads over truly astonishing spans? Why domes and free-standing arches survive earthquakes that flatten the rest of a city?

Physicist Mark Denny looks at the large structures around us—tall buildings, long bridges, and big dams—and explains how they were designed and built and why they sometimes collapse, topple, or burst.

Denny uses clear, accessible language to explain the physics behind such iconic structures as the Parthenon, the Eiffel Tower, the Forth Rail Bridge in Edinburgh, and Hoover Dam. His friendly approach allows readers to appreciate the core principles that keep these engineering marvels upright without having to master complex mathematical equations.

Employing history, humor, and simple physics to consider such topics as when to use screws or nails, what trusses are, why iron beams are often I-shaped, and why medieval cathedrals have buttresses, Denny succeeds once again in making physics fun.

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Super Structures

Mark Denny

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Reviews

Reviews

Extraordinary guide to the hidden secrets of modern man-made miracles... Highly recommended.

It will appeal to the interested layperson who is curious about how structures work and about the factors influencing their development over several millennia. It would also be useful background reading for students of architecture and building (and even of engineering, if you don’t tell your professor).

Denny's new book is perfused with this sense of excitement... It is to be recommended.

The author's goal in writing this book is 'to explain, with technical accuracy but minimal math, why our large engineering structures... are built the way they are.' Denny, a theoretical physicist and author of numerous works facilitating an understanding of science concepts... does an excellent job with that.

This would be a good book to add to the school or department library, and anyone who is interested in the design of structures should find it an interesting read.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
280
ISBN
9780801894374
Illustration Description
74 halftones, 59 line drawings
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Heavyweight Engineering
1. Building Blocks
2. Truss in All Things
3. Towers of Strength
4. Arches and Domes
5. A Bridge Too Far
6. Dam It
7. The Bigger They Are, the Harder They

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Heavyweight Engineering
1. Building Blocks
2. Truss in All Things
3. Towers of Strength
4. Arches and Domes
5. A Bridge Too Far
6. Dam It
7. The Bigger They Are, the Harder They Fall
Afterword: Highbrow Engineering, Heavyweight Art
Technical Appendix
Glossary
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Mark Denny, Ph.D.

Mark Denny is a theoretical physicist who has worked in academia and industry. He is the author of numerous books, including Lights On! The Science of Power Generation, Making Sense of Weather and Climate: The Science behind the Forecasts, and Making the Most of the Anthropocene: Facing the Future.
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