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On Galileo’s Tallest Column
Vázquez Espí, Mariano and Cervera Bravo, Jaime and Olmedo Rojas, Carlos
On Galileo’s Tallest Column.
"Mathematical Problems in Engineering"
||On Galileo’s Tallest Column
Vázquez Espí, Mariano
Cervera Bravo, Jaime
Olmedo Rojas, Carlos
|Título de Revista/Publicación:
||Mathematical Problems in Engineering
||structural design, insurmountable size, structural efficiency, structural scope, optimal
||E.T.S. Arquitectura (UPM)
||Estructuras y Física de Edificación
|UPM's Research Group:
||Grupo de Investigación en Arquitectura, Urbanismo y Sostenibilidad (GIAU+S)
|Creative Commons Licenses:
||Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial
The height at which an unloaded column will fail under its own weight was calculated for first time
by Galileo for cylindrical columns. Galileo questioned himself if there exists a shape function for the
cross-section of the column with which the latter can attains a greater height than the cylindrical
column. The problem is not solved since then, although the definition of the so named “constant
maximum strength” solids seems to give an affirmative answer to Galileo’s question, in the form of
shapes than can attains infinite height, even when loaded with a useful load at the top. The main
contribution of this work is to show that Galileo’s problem is (i) an important problem for structural
design theory of buildings and other structures, (ii) not solved by the time being in any sense and (iii)
a interesting problem for mathematicians involved in related but very different problems (as Euler’s
tallest column). A contemporary formulation of the problem is included as a result of a research on
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