What kind of bridges are in the city where you live? How much load or what type of weight do those bridges need to carry? How do they handle tension forces and compression forces? And why do designers and engineers decide to build one type of bridge over another?
Spend a half hour with this illuminating Wired video, Every Bridge For Every Situation, explained by engineer, educator, and STEMedia founder Dr. Nehemiah Mabry, PE. A former researcher for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Mabry is a North Carolina-based bridge design engineer. In the video, he describes different bridge types, how they work, and how they’re best used.
Learn how to identify your local bridges: Suspension, cable-stayed, arch, truss, cantilever, beam, rigid frame, and moveable—a category that includes impressive examples of a rolling bridge and a tilt bridge. Mabry also reviews famous bridges of each type from around the globe.
Watch another video from this series from Wired: Every type of roller coaster, explained by a roller coaster engineer.
Watch these related bridge and engineering videos next:
• Spaghetti bridges, a DIY engineering activity
• How to make Leonardo da Vinci’s self-supporting bridge
• A monster-sized bridge building machine in action
• Dismantling the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge
• Fun with Arches, a series of engineering demonstrations
• Succeed by Failing: Failure points and how to fix them
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