Model Equations for the Eiffel Tower Profile: Historical Perspective and New Results

  • Date: 03/27/2008

Patrick Weidman (University of Colorado)


University of Alberta


A review of mathematical models for the shape of the Eiffel Tower show
that they are not consistent with Eiffel's writings. Reported here is a
new model derived from Eiffel's concern about wind loads on the tower,
as documented in a communication to the French Civil Engineering
Society on March 30, 1885. This model reveals an exponential skyline
profile, while the actual tower profile closely resembles two piecewise
continuous exponentials. This discrepancy is explained by specific
safety factors that Eiffel & Company incorporated in the
construction of the lower half of the 300 meter tower.