On Galileo’s Tallest Column

Vázquez Espí, Mariano and Cervera Bravo, Jaime and Olmedo Rojas, Carlos (2015). On Galileo’s Tallest Column. "Mathematical Problems in Engineering" ; ISSN 1563-5147.


Title: On Galileo’s Tallest Column
  • Vázquez Espí, Mariano
  • Cervera Bravo, Jaime
  • Olmedo Rojas, Carlos
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Date: 2015
Freetext Keywords: structural design, insurmountable size, structural efficiency, structural scope, optimal shapes.
Faculty: E.T.S. Arquitectura (UPM)
Department: 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

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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 the subject.

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Item ID: 34849
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/34849/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:34849
Deposited by: Profesor Titular Mariano Vázquez Espí
Deposited on: 06 Apr 2015 10:09
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2015 23:56
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