# Everyday Science: Bridge Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

Chances are, if you've done even the slightest bit of traveling, you've crossed your fair share of bridges. These feats of engineering can span anything from a trickling stream to a raging river. Can you cross the bridge quiz without falling?

# The distance between two bridge supports is called the:

Bridges are differentiated by the distance they can cross, also known as their span.

# Which of the following is not one of the two major forces bridges deal with?

Compression is a force that acts to compress or shorten the object it's acting on; tension is a force that acts to expand or lengthen the object it's acting on. These are the two main forces that bridges must contend with.

# What determines the distance a beam bridge can span?

The size of the beam (in particular its height), controls the distance that the beam can span.

# What can be added to make beams taller?

Supporting lattice work, or a truss, adds rigidity to the existing beam, greatly increasing its ability to dissipate the compression and tension.

# What gives an arch bridge its strength?

Due to their curved shape, arch bridges don't need any additional supports or cables; they're naturally strong bridge structures.

# Which part of a suspension bridge receives the most compression?

A suspension bridge's cables transfer the bulk of the compression to the towers, which dissipate the compression directly into the earth where they're buried.

# Tension acts primarily on which part of a suspension bridge?

The supporting cables running between the bridge's two anchorages receive most of the tension. They're literally stretched from the weight of the bridge and its traffic.

# What purpose do bridge dampeners serve?

Dampeners help to mitigate the resonance, or vibrating, effect in bridges. They interrupt any resonant waves that form and prevent them from growing.

# What force is responsible for most bridge failures?

While the danger of other forces has been largely eliminated through better design, weather forces are much harder to combat.