I'm taking Physics this year and our new lab (lab teacher's cool...no HW as well
) is the "Wooden Toothpick Bridge."
Pretty much we need to construct a bridge that can withstand a brick for 5 seconds. The lightest bridge that can hold the brick wins.
Our requirement when buiding the bridge is that the base cannot be over 5 cm high and 30 cm long (the base). After that, the top part can be as high as you want.
This is the point where I need the help of my Cafe buddies for ideas on the best strategy. We just got the lab today, so we didn't really do anythjing yet. Our class was introduced to "tress bridges" and "arch bridges." Tress bridges seem to be much more common for this assignment, but an arch bridge may be a little stronger.
Any advice that you guys who are future engineers, former physic studs or anyone else can give me? If anyone has ever heard of this or knows a lot about it, I can get a little more in-depth on planning it and such.
I have one plan that could work, but the bridge will be heavier - for each supporting diagonal beam (on each side), I'll use 2 or 4 toothpicks instead of just one (that everyone else will do). This would add stength and stability - if one toothpick cracks, three more are there to support the beam.