In addition to molecular vibrations, the concept of matching the natural frequency of an object with a driving frequency (resonance) has many applications.   Just like molecules, buildings (as well as all structures) have particular natural frequencies that depend on a structure’s size and rigidity. When an earthquake or winds drive the building at these special natural frequencies, extremely large amplitude motion is possible. One technology designed to deal with this resonance issue in skyscrapers is the tuned mass damper. For instance, the Taipei 101 building has a tuned mass damper that weighs 660 tonnes suspended from the 87th to the 92nd floors of the building. When the building is driven by an earthquake or winds near the natural frequency of the building, the tuned mass damper is set to move such that it exactly opposes the motion of the building, effectively cancelling out the effects of resonance and keeping the building from suffering serious damage.

Mass Damper

The Taipei 101 building was designed to withstand winds in excess of 134 mph and the estimated strongest possible earthquakes in the region.