This is definitely a great way to illustrate concepts of stress and strain! I'll have to keep this technique in mind when trying to explain mechanical problems. By the way, here is a picture (from Wikipedia):
What I really like about the human model described here is that the humans could feel the tensile and compressive forces, rather than just imagine them. Seems like it would be a great exercise for engineering students.
The story of that demonstration of the concept of the bridge is really interesting. Before the days of electronics to be able to get such a concept across was a difficult proposition. The solution is very good and filled the bill well.
I have been on that bridge, by the way. It is a great view.
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“How can European standards affect me, especially since I only use machines built in the US?” This is a common question, and one way to answer this is to look at how machine safety is enforced, where the information comes from, and how well you can prove you followed the regulations.
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