Gina's tower question?

Spike Jones (
Mon, 19 Jul 1999 22:24:45 -0700

> Gina Miller wrote:... a simple structure merely to achieve it's epitome of
> height, what should it be built of, (not considering the future of
> nanotubes, but what could be used now) how high would it reach and how thick
> would the structure have to be in width?

Gina this is a most complicated question. Ignoring wind loads and assuming a perfectly isotropic material (shear strength the same in all planes), and assuming a constant gravitational field and a perfectly rigid foundation, etc, (all the reasonable engineering assumptions) the tower would look like a trumpet bell, wide at the base, growing narrower as it ascends, round cross section if the cutting planes are parallel to the ground. The failure mechanism is a shear stress failure on a plane 45 degrees from horizontal. The height of the tower depends on the material. Do you wish to restrict your thinking to steel? One could go higher if you assume titanium or some other expensive material. Any other restrictions? spike