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Model Equations for the Eiffel Tower Profile: Historical Perspective and New Results

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 10:00am

Speaker Name(s): 

Patrick Weidman

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

University of Colorado Boulder
Seminar Type/Subject

Event Details & Abstract: 

A review of mathematical models for the shape of the Eiffel Tower show they arenot consistent with Eiffel’s writings. Reported here is a new model derived fromEiffel’s concern about wind loads on the tower, as documented in a communicationto the French Civil Engineering Society on March 30, 1885. This model revealsan exponential skyline profile, while the actual tower profile closely resembles twopiecewise continuous exponentials. This discrepancy is explained by specific safetyfactors that Eiffel & Company incorporated in the construction of the lower half ofthe 300 meter tower.