Sunday, April 7, 2024

Taiwan earthquake explanations - Part 3

 Continued from previous article

As seen, when a hypothesis cannot fail due to legal or political reasons, it becomes a religion.  In the good old days, engineers embraced the failure of a hypothesis because it was a learning experience.  Now, everything is embedded into the fabric of an institution's existence.

We shall start the next section with a wonderful champagne fountain.  Our bride&groom 'zillas' insist on one, and the wedding planner goes into conniption fits because that family has tons of notorious drunks.  She enlists the help of a California earthquake engineer, and they tie all the glasses together with crazy glue, including gluing to the table.

This is tested by gently rocking the table until the fountain starts to resonate at its 'fundamental mode' which is the whole tower swinging.  The glasses stay together, and it is declared fit for service.  This is design by peak acceleration, and resonance.  

Everything is fine until drunk Uncle Ralph gives the table a body check.  This is a huge velocity pulse, as measured by the seismic accelerometer on the table, and accelerometer chips on the tower.  During the hit, most of tower remains perfectly still, in relation to the room, but all the lower stems break.  We have 'Seismic Fling'.  

 Yes Virginia, Twas velocity that killed the beast.

- to be continued

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