Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Photo of the Week

Water Bridge in Germany. An incredible engineering feat.

Six years, 500 million euros, 918 meters long!

This is a channel-bridge over the River Elbe and joins the former East and West Germany, as part of the unification project. It is located in the city of Magdeburg, near Berlin.

The photo was taken on the day of inauguration.

To those who appreciate engineering projects, here's a puzzle for you armchair engineers and physicists.

Did that bridge have to be designed to withstand the additional weight of ship and barge traffic, or just the weight of the water?

It only needs to be designed to withstand the weight of the water!
Why? A ship always displaces an amount of water that weighs the same as the ship,
regardless of how heavily a ship may be loaded.


  1. That was going to be my answer, although I could not have formulated it as well. Thank you for doing it dor me instead. Great bridge! Those Germans!

  2. I got the right answer, what a clever boy! I thought the bridge over the river was it until I saw it was 918 metres (3012 feet) so also included a lot more on either side of the river. A staggering engineering feat, indeed.

  3. I find it hard to credit that my stab at the answer was correct. Please teacher, don't ask me to explain on paper.

    That road canal is amazing! Trust the Germans to do it.

  4. I plan on wowing people with this fact this weekend in the pub!

  5. Hmmm - clever those Germans!
    Doesn't your question have something to do with Archimedes and his bathwater? ;-)


Comments are welcome. Anonymous comments will be deleted unread.

Email me at wisewebwomanatgmaildotcom if you're having trouble.