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School of Physics and Astronomy

CCMMP Research Highlights in Nature - part 1


An iconic structure in London moonlights as a scientific tool

Researchers enlist the seventeenth-century memorial called the Monument to study physical deformation.

Physicists have made the most precise measurements ever of deformations in the shape of a wire. They did the experiment inside the 60-metre-tall column in central London known as the Monument — built in the 1670s to commemorate the city’s great fire of 1666.

Working at night, when the landmark is closed to tourists, Waris Ali at Queen Mary University of London and his colleagues hung a 50-metre-long wire down the shaft of the Monument’s spiral staircase. They then twisted and untwisted the wire from its bottom tip, and allowed it to come to rest again.



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