Physics of Resonance: Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse


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When you have an object oscillating back and forth periodically like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge before its collapse, what type of motion do we say that object is experiencing?

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1. The difference between a damped and driven harmonic oscillator has to do with their energy. What do we know about the energy of a damped harmonic oscillator?

2. Before collapsing into the water, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge acted as a driven harmonic oscillator. What is a driven harmonic oscillator?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Using the worksheet and quiz, you can see what you know about the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and its history. Terms like resonance and harmonic oscillator are covered on the quiz.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

You'll get to assess your understanding of:

  • Why the Tacoma Narrows Bridge eventually collapsed
  • The energy of a damped harmonic oscillator
  • Meaning of a driven harmonic oscillator
  • Type of motion characterized by an object oscillating back and forth

Skills Practiced

  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the lesson on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse
  • Interpreting information - verify that you can read information about why the Tacoma Narrows Bridge eventually collapsed and interpret it correctly
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you have gained about how energy works with a damped harmonic oscillator

Additional Learning

Gain more insights about this event by using the lesson called Physics of Resonance: Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse. Other topics you can look over include:

  • When Tacoma Narrows Bridge first opened
  • How this bridge was built
  • Types of harmonic oscillators