Reflection: Real World Applications Resonance - Section 3: Tacoma Narrows Collapse


An internet search of "Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse" reveals a multitude of websites that have different theories and explanations on why the bridge fell apart that day. While all agree that the failure was due to the bridge's design reacting to the wind in the Narrows, there is no universal agreement on why the bridge oscillated so dramatically. Was it resonance, aerodynamics or aeroelasticity? 

The Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse is a great topic to have students research with the goal of finding the explanation they believe to be true. There are all of these theories out there, which should they believe and why? In the future, I will give this as a debate topic where students work in groups to formulate an explanation for the bridges collapse. They can then debate each other on why their explanation is the correct one.

  Future Performance Task
  Real World Applications: Future Performance Task
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Unit 5: Waves
Lesson 5 of 15

Objective: Students apply the definition of resonance to a variety of real-life examples.

Big Idea: Resonance is a vibration of large amplitude in a mechanical system caused by a small periodic stimulus of the same frequency as the natural frequency of the system.

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Waves, Science, interference (Waves), frequency (Waves), resonance, standing waves, physics, period (Waves), natural frequency
  25 minutes
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