YouTuber Uses Lego to Explain the Physics of Keeping Skyscrapers from Shaking

Minutephysics explains the science behind the tuned mass dampers responsible for keeping both high structures and power transmissions stable.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Have you ever wondered why skyscrapers don't sway in the wind or worse during earthquakes? How do such high buildings maintain their stability?

Well, it turns out is due to something called tuned mass dampers. If you are confused, do not worry, YouTuber Minutephysics is here to explain and better yet he does it using the Lego's space set.

"This video is about Tuned Mass Dampers, which can be used to reduce or avoid unwanted vibrations, swaying, swinging, bending, etc on engineered structures ranging from buildings, skyscrapers, electricity power transmission lines, airplane engines, formula one race cars, etc. TMD's use damped coupled oscillators," says the clip's description.

Tuned mass dampers are actually also known as harmonic absorbers or seismic dampers. They are elegant intelligent devices mounted in high structures and even power transmissions such as formula car engines or planes to reduce the amplitude of mechanical vibrations.

Minutephysics calls tuned mass dampers: the physics on how to use little things to keep big things under control and we could not agree more! Although, we could have never expressed it as well.

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