Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down by J.E. Gordon

(New York: Da Capo Press, 2009), 424

  • Chapter 5 - Strain energy

    • emphasizes that knowledge of the strength of a material gives only partial insight into the structural integrity of a structure

    • strain energy is the area under the stress-strain curve —> larger requires larger energy to cause a structure to fail

  • Gothic Architecture: statues on top of cathedral buttresses add weight and keep the thrust line inside the wall to stabilize the structure (183)
  • "A structure is a device which exists in order to delay some event which is energetically favorable" (324)
  • “I think it is really important that some sort of view of the aesthetics of technology and engineering and structures should be put forward to engineers and technologists by one of themselves, however inadequate that view may be. For what follows I commit myself to Athena and to Apollo - by their grace may somebody more competent than myself be provoked into doing the job better.” (358)