3A60.10 - Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Photo Credit: https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/561125/bridge-poem-rushin/
Photo Credit: https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/561125/bridge-poem-rushin/
Code Number:
Demo Title:
Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Area of Study:
Available in these formats: 1 ea. - VHS tape with a short and long version of Tacoma Narrows Bridge, 1 ea. - VHS tape labeled "Architectural Disasters - Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse.", 2 ea. - 16 mm films of Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse.", 1 ea. - video disc labeled, "The Puzzle of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse.", 1 ea. - film loop labeled, "The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse.", One set of 8-35 mm slides of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge before the collapse.

No advanced notice necessary.

  • Kevin Kilty, "The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse Revisited", TPT, Vol. 59, #6, Sept. 2021, p. 491.
  • Don Olson, Joseph Hook, Russell Doescher, and Steven Wolf, "Authors' Reply", TPT, Vol. 54, #1, Jan. 2016, p. 5.
  • Robert Gibbs, "The Narrows Bridge Cover Photo and Film Loop Speed", TPT, Vol. 54, #1, Jan. 2016, p. 5.
  • Don Olson, Joseph Hook, Russell Doescher, and Steven Wolf, "The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse on Film and Video", TPT, Vol. 53, #8, Nov. 2015, p. 461.
  • William Dittrich, Leonid Minkin, and Alexander S. Shapovalov, "Mechanical Parametric Oscillations and Waves", TPT, Vol. 51, #3, Mar. 2013, p. 163.
  • Albert Allen Bartlett, "Bridge Oscillations Reference", TPT, Vol. 41, #5, May 2003, p. 261.
  • Bernard J. Feldman, "What to Say About the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to Your Introductory Physics Class", TPT, Vol. 41, #2, Feb 2003, p. 92.
  • Harriet Slogoff and Bill Berner, "A Simulation of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Oscillations", TPT, Vol. 38, #7, Oct. 2000, p. 442.
  • Joe Crnkovich, "More on Partial Credit", TPT, Vol. 16, #2, Feb. 1978, p. 75.
  • Wallace A. Hilton, "Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse, A Demonstration", TPT, Vol. 15, #3, Mar. 1977, p. 189.
  • Daniel Green and William G. Unruh, "The Failure of the Tacoma Bridge: A Physical Model", AJP, Vol. 74, #8, Aug. 2006, p. 706.
  • K. Yusuf Billah and Robert H. Scanlan, "Resonance, Tacoma Narrows Bridge Failure, and Undergraduate Physics Textbooks", AJP, Vol. 59, #2, Feb. 1991, p. 118.
  • Donald W. Olson, Steven F. Wolf, and Joseph M. Hook, "The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse", Physics Today, Vol. 68, #11, Nov. 2015, p. 64.
  • Jearl Walker, "4.84. Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse", The Flying Circus of Physics with Answers.
  • Jearl Walker, "2.129, Aerodynamics of Cables and Lines", The Flying Circus of Physics Ed. 2, p. 138.
  • Jearl Walker, "2.4, Collapse of the Old Tacoma Narrows Bridge", The Flying Circus of Physics Ed. 2, p. 84.
  • Jearl Walker, "1.124, Footbridge and Dance Floor Oscillations", The Flying Circus of Physics Ed. 2, p. 61.
  • "Daring and Disastrous Spans", Technology, p. 266.
  • Nathan A. Unterman, "The Rebuilt Tacoma Narrows Bridge".
  • This Day In Physics History, "November 7, 1940: Collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge", APS News, Vol. 25, #10, Nov. 2016, p. 4.
  • Curt Suplee, "Before the Fall", Everyday Science Explained, National Geographic, p. 64.
  • W. Bolton, "The Resonance of Structures", Book 2 - Waves and Particles, Physics Experiments and Projects, 1968, p. 89 - 90.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.