– the maximum angle at which an object can rest on a slope without sliding down.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
The angle of repose
the angle of repose –
to 90°, the maximum angle to the horizontal at which rocks, soil and other
objects will remain without sliding, or the maximum angle atwhich an object can reston a slope without sliding down.
I read Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose a number of years
ago, when I was working around a large number of engineers.It was the first time I had heard of the
concept and I was taken by the beauty and imagery of the term.The angle of repose, what a poetic engineer.Why repose?The word is such a rich one.The
Free Dictionary gives several definitions in the noun form of the word:
resting; freedom from worry, peace of mind; calmness, tranquility.The verb form takes the word a little
further:to lay down; to rest or relax;
to lie dead.
As the object of this repose, I find retirement has taken me further from the slipping point than I had been in a while. There have been times when the angle was quite steep yet I felt solid, and others when only a slight elevation would have made me slip. We are not engineered objects. It is more than friction and gravity that keeps us clinging to our spot. This blog will follow my travels as I navigate the angles that I seek, and those that find me.