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Super Structures: The Science of Bridges, Buildings, Dams, and Other Feats of Engineering

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Description

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.

About the Author

Peter Hetherington, former regional affairs and northern editor of The Guardian, was a reporter at The Journal, Newcastle, covering local government – focussing on local politics and redevelopment – during the early 70s. Latterly he has written about planning, housing, regeneration and local government for The Guardian and other publications, and travelled extensively in Britain and overseas covering that field. He was a board member of the government's former Academy for Sustainable Communities, a member of its former urban sounding board, and is currently a vice president, trustee and policy council member of the Town and Country Planning Association.  

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