1831: Marching Soldiers Collapse a Bridge

1831: Marching Soldiers Collapse a Bridge
Photo Credit To https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ec/Albert_Bridge_notice.JPG/768px-Albert_Bridge_notice.JPG

On this day a strange accident occurred, which can be used as an example of the effect of the laws of physics in real life. Namely, when a troop of soldiers was marching over a suspension bridge, it collapsed and took around 40 people into the river with it. Physics professors offered an explanation of the accident based on resonance phenomena. Specifically, if the frequency of a harmonized soldiers’ march matches the resonant frequency of the bridge, the amplitude of oscillations increases, and structural elements of the bridge can give in.

The bridge that collapsed was located near the town of Broughton, England. Fortunately, none of the 40 soldiers who fell in the river were killed. However, a substantial number of them were injured, of whom six severely (broken arms, legs, etc.). The British army learned a lesson from the disaster and ordered that the marching should stop and the soldiers proceed at a regular pace when crossing bridges in the future. As soldiers know, this is still a common procedure on bridges, which should be learned during early training.

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