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ReMaking History, Volume 3, 1st Edition by William Gurstelle

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Chapter 3 Squire Whipple and the Truss Bridge

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All mechanical, civil, and aerospace engineers learn how to analyze structures early in their engineering training. Determining the size and direction of compressive or tension forces acting on each piece of a large construction is a civil engineering discipline called statics. With this basic knowledge, engineers figure out the right sizes, shapes, and thicknesses of materials they use to build houses, dams, bridges, buildings, and other nonmoving structures.

When studying statics, engineering students learn about many architectural elements that are designed to hold things up against the forces ...

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