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Waterbridge in Germany…

Another email from Richa.. and another interesting post!

WaterBridge in Germany . What a feat!

Six years, 500 million euros, 918 meters long…….now this is engineering!
This is a channel-bridge over the River Elbe and joins the former East and West Germany ,
as part of the unification project. It is located in the city of Magdeburg, near Berlin.
The photo was taken on the day of inauguration.

To those who appreciate engineering projects, here’s a puzzle for you armchair engineers and physicists.
Did that bridge have to be designed to withstand the additional weight of ship and barge traffic, or just the weight of the water?

Answer:


It only needs to be designed to withstand the weight of the water!
Why? A ship always displaces an amount of water that weighs the same as the ship,
regardless of how heavily a ship may be loaded.

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2 thoughts on “Waterbridge in Germany…”

  1. In case of this bridge, the weight of the ship need not be considered because the bridge is not a closed container so the displaced water will leave the bridge (will be spread outside the bridge) so as to not raise the water level on the bridge.

    However, if you place a tub of water on a sensitive weighing machine at home and drop a few wood blocks in it, the machine will show more weight. That’s because, even though the weight of the wood blocks is in equilibrium with the buoyant force, the pressure of the water at the base of the tub will be higher as the height of the water column is now more than before. Here’s the math:-

    Pressure = Height of water column * density of water * gravity.

    Initially, without the wood blocks: Pressure P1 = h * d * g.
    Force at the bottom of the tub = P1 * ‘Area of the base of the tub’

    Later, with the wood blocks:
    Pressure, P2 = H*d*g where H = h + delta.
    Force at the bottom of the tub will therefore be greater.

  2. In case of this bridge, the weight of the ship need not be considered because the bridge is not a closed container so the displaced water will leave the bridge (will be spread outside the bridge) so as to not raise the water level on the bridge.

    However, if you place a tub of water on a sensitive weighing machine at home and drop a few wood blocks in it, the machine will show more weight. That’s because, even though the weight of the wood blocks is in equilibrium with the buoyant force, the pressure of the water at the base of the tub will be higher as the height of the water column is now more than before. Here’s the math:-

    Pressure = Height of water column * density of water * gravity.

    Initially, without the wood blocks: Pressure P1 = h * d * g.
    Force at the bottom of the tub = P1 * ‘Area of the base of the tub’

    Later, with the wood blocks:
    Pressure, P2 = H*d*g where H = h + delta.
    Force at the bottom of the tub will therefore be greater.

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Subscribe to Drishtikone updates and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

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