Learn how a team of architects and engineers use a scale model and “shake table” to assess the risk of earthquake damage to Turkey’s 1,500-year-old Hagia Sophia, in this video from NOVA: Building Wonders: Hagia Sophia. The Hagia Sophia’s giant dome rests on four arches, which are in turn supported by a series of columns and semi-domes. If any of the supports fail, the dome might collapse. To understand the potential danger to the building, an earthquake specialist teams with two engineers to build a scale model and perform a test. If the model is damaged by a simulated earthquake, the actual building might be damaged in the same way by a real earthquake.
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