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The Eiffel Tower's height fluctuates seasonally due to temperature changes, and it can indeed be up to 15 centimeters taller in the summer compared to the winter. Read next how this is happening!
Material Expansion: The Eiffel Tower is primarily made of iron, which expands when exposed to higher temperatures and contracts when it gets colder. This property is known as thermal expansion. When the tower is subjected to the higher temperatures of summer, the iron components expand, causing the entire structure to increase in height.
Mathematically, thermal expansion is described using the coefficient of thermal expansion (α), which quantifies how a material's size changes with temperature. The formula for linear thermal expansion, which applies to one-dimensional changes in length, is as follows:
ΔL = α * L * ΔT
ΔL is the change in length of the material.
α (alpha) is the coefficient of linear thermal expansion, typically given in units of per degree Celsius (°C)^(-1) or per degree Fahrenheit (°F)^(-1).
L is the original length of the material.
ΔT is the change in temperature in degrees Celsius (°C) or Fahrenheit (°F).
Iron has a relatively high coefficient of thermal expansion, which means it expands and contracts significantly with temperature changes. When the temperature rises, the iron in the tower's structure expands, causing the various parts of the tower to move slightly away from each other, resulting in an increase in height.
The height of the Eiffel Tower is precisely measured at various times throughout the year to account for these seasonal changes. This is especially important for engineering and safety purposes. The tower's height is also adjusted in official records to reflect these variations.
The height change due to temperature fluctuations can be as much as 15 centimeters (about 6 inches) between winter and summer. While this may seem like a small difference, it's a testament to the accuracy and precision in both the construction and maintenance of the iconic tower.
In summary, the Eiffel Tower's height can vary with the seasons due to the thermal expansion and contraction of its iron components in response to temperature changes. This natural phenomenon is carefully monitored and accounted for to maintain the accuracy of the tower's recorded height.
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