911 Buildings Blasted Into Dust – Do the Physics!
By Bob Podolsky
Since the 9/11/2001 attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon, there has been much discussion about how the attack was achieved and who was responsible. The “official” explanation, as explicated in the final report of the 9/11 Commission, is itself a conspiracy theory – claiming that nineteen Saudi Arabs, armed only with box-cutters, caused the collapse of three WTC towers and punched a hole through three heavily reinforced walls of the Pentagon. Being a scientist with a masters degree in theoretical physics and twenty years of technical experience in systems analysis, I couldn’t let the conclusions of the 9/11 Commission go unexamined.
Despite the fact that thousands of scientists, scholars, architects, engineers, military personnel, intelligence officers, Fire investigators, demolition experts, attorneys, politicians, pilots, plus 9/11 Blog sites and those of us on facebook have knowledgeably disputed the conclusions of the 9/11 Commission, the mainstream media, including NPR, has consistently belittled and attempted to discredit alternative accounts of the events of 9/11, by describing them pejoratively as conspiracy theories and associating them with assassination theories, UFO theories, Illuminati theories, and various other theories that are usually disbelieved – whether or not they are correct.
What is a Conspiracy?
So let’s get real. If two or more people were involved together in creating an event, their collaboration was, by definition, a conspiracy. If someone offers an explanation of how an event, or series of events, took place, that explanation is, in scientific terms, a theory. So by definition, the 9/11 Commission’s report is a conspiracy theory.
In science, if a theory is an attempt to provide an explanation that fits the objectively verifiable facts, it is inherently a good thing. Once the theory has been made public, it is up to other scientists to determine to what extent the theory is consistent with the facts – thereby determining to what extent (if any) the theory is valid.
It was around 2003 that I came to realize that many of the assertions of the 9/11 Commission Report seemed inconsistent with the publicly reported facts. So I decided to check out a couple of the key elements of the official theory on my own. I did this by seeking answers to two simple questions concerning the collapse of the WTC buildings:
A. Did the burning jet fuel provide temperatures high enough to account for the softening and melting of structural steel that had to have taken place for the towers to have collapsed in the manner described by the Commission’s report?
B. Was there enough energy available in the system comprised of the aircraft and building together to account for the destruction of the building as described in publicly available descriptions of the damage done to the buildings?
For those interested in the details of how I answered these questions, I explain them below. But first, I’ll give you the results of those findings. In a nutshell, the answer to both questions is “NO“. In the case of question (A), this means that the Commission’s report violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the answer to question (B) means that the Commission’s report violates the First Law of Thermodynamics. And therefore the Commission’s conspiracy theory is INVALID.
I should mention, for those unfamiliar with science, that the first and second Laws of Thermodynamics are “Laws of Nature” – like the Law of Gravity. No scientist or engineer has ever seen a violation of these laws – ever.
In light of all the information above and the analysis and observations listed below, I am compelled, as a scientist, to arrive at the conclusion that the attacks of 9/11/2001 were indeed an “inside job”, perpetrated by members of our government – probably (to speculate) to justify the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq that have destroyed the lives of millions of people at home and abroad.
On this note I must mention that, despite all contrary propaganda, (as I’ve said in my book, “The BORG Wars“) ALL WARS are fought for control of resources – Oil, gas, minerals, arable land, water, seaport availability, and slaves, for example. And both Afghanistan and Iraq contain trillions of dollars worth of such resources. From this we see that the deaths of a few thousand Americans on 9/11 was almost trivial, compared the evils that the perpetrators of 9/11 are prepared to commit to have their way.
The big questions are “who dunnit” and “at whose behest” were these extremely unethical acts committed? We may never know the answers with certainty – but we can make an informed conjecture. Whoever concocted the 9/11 conspiracy, they had to have been very powerful people indeed. So my money is on the top echelon of the B.O.R.G., as explained in the preceding link, to name the ultimate perpetrators – and on elements of our government to answer the who dunnit question.
Outline of My Analysis
I was recently invited to publish the calculations by means of which I arrived at the above conclusions. However, I have decided instead to outline the methodology I used to make the calculations, which I made with a hand-held calculator of limited capability. It is my hope that others, with access to much more sophisticated mathematical tools, will replicate my calculations and get far more accurate results. My methodology was as follows:
A. I assumed that the elevated temperatures in the WTC towers had to be due to the burning of aircraft jet fuel, the burning of furnishings present in the towers (carpeting, desks, chairs, etc.), or possibly natural gas (if there were gas-lines in the towers).
1. As does every scientist and engineer worth his salt, I had access to look-up tables (in real books) telling me at what temperatures things burn. I used them.
2. I also looked up the temperatures at which structural steel softens, becomes malleable, and melts.
3. Based on the black color of the smoke generated and the red and orange flames visible in videos of the events, I reached the conclusion that persistent temperatures within the burning towers could not have been above 750° Fahrenheit.
4. Since this temperature is less than half that required to soften steel (2000° or so), let alone melt it (3000° or more), and since
5. Heat cannot flow “uphill” any more than water does (2nd Law of Thermodynamics),
6. I conclude that the impact of the aircraft and the consequent heat generated could not possibly have collapsed the towers as described in the Commission’s conspiracy theory. This conclusion is especially relevant to Tower 7, which was not hit by a plane and suffered zero damage from the burning of jet fuel.
B. The calculations needed to answer question (B) above are much more complicated.
1. For starters I noted that after each tower’s collapse, the pieces that remained required relatively little cutting up before being placed on big flat-bed trucks to be hauled away. So as a first approximation I assumed that all the steel members in the building were reduced to chunks no more than 60′ long and 10′ wide.
2. To determine what this meant, I went to a site such as http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/arch/index.html (I don’t remember which one I used), where the steel construction is described in detail. I divided the calculations into five parts:
a. Determine the energy required to separate all the floors from one another and from their vertical supports.
b. Determine the energy required to cut up each floor into 60′ linear sections.
c. Determine the energy required to turn 90% (my estimate) of the concrete in the structure into dust.
d. Determine the plane’s kinetic energy and
e. The chemical energy in the plane’s fuel.
3. To calculate (2.a.) above, I used a typical horizontal cross section of the building (WTC-2) and assumed (throughout this analysis) that 1/16″ of steel was removed at the moment the destruction occurred.
4. I totaled up the cross sectional area and multiplied the sum by 1/16″ to determine the amount of steel that had to be removed to cut the cross section through the building.
5. Next I multiplied by the number of floors above ground level in the building, to get a total of the volume of steel that had to be removed throughout the building.
6. Then I calculated the energy required to melt (as with a cutting torch) all of the steel totaled in (B.5.) above.
7. Then I applied the same method as used above to determine how much energy it took to cut up all the floors into 60′ by 10′ chunks or sections, and added this number to the result of calculation (B.6.) above, giving me the total energy involved in destroying the steel elements of the building.
8. Finally, I turned to a description of the concrete in the building that I found online, that gave me the crush-resistance specifications of the concrete used in the construction of the building and the quantity of concrete used. From that specification I was able to determine the work (energy) needed to crush 90% of the concrete that had gone into the building’s construction. And I added that amount of energy to the result of calculation (B.7.) above – at last yielding an approximate value of the total energy that had to have been released in the building’s destruction.
9. My next task (much easier) was to determine how much energy was available to wreak the destruction described above. Since detailed description of the Boeing 767-222 that struck the tower was available to me online, I was able to determine the kinetic energy of the plane and the chemical energy of its fuel.
10. To this number I added the potential energy inherent in the building itself by multiplying the weight of the building by the approximate height of the building’s center of gravity above ground.
11. Totaling these numbers and applying a rough (much smaller) number (approximation) for the burning of the building’s contents, I finally derived a reasonable estimate of the energy available to destroy the building.
At last I was ready to answer Question B that I posed at the outset. According to my assumptions, estimates, and calculations, the energy available to damage the building was less than 1% of the energy that had actually destroyed the building. This finding proves to my satisfaction that the 9/11 Commission explanation violates the First Law of Thermodynamics – and is therefore NOT VALID and IMPOSSIBLE.
A Few Final Comments
Having proven to myself that the official 9/11 Commission Report is grossly incomplete at best (or a pack of lies at worst), I began to look at other publicly available information concerning the events of that day. A few items (out of many) particularly caught my attention:
- The unprecedented “free-fall” implosions of three WTC buildings into their footprints.
- The presence of thermate in the dust debris around the fallen towers.
- The persistent presence of molten steel beneath the fallen towers.
- The lack of verifiable security at the WTC in the weeks preceding the attacks of 9/11.
- The stand-down of USAF defense protocols the morning of 9/11, as reported by a military officer who was present when Dick Cheney ordered the stand-down.
- The report of a qualified military plane-spotter, who said he saw a missile-capable USAF drone approaching the Pentagon just before the attack at that location.
- The FBI confiscation of all the security videos around the Pentagon that could have photographed the strike at that location.
- The assertion by experienced Boeing 767 pilots that even highly trained and experienced 767 pilots could not possibly have maneuvered such a plane into the Pentagon as radar indicated the attack was committed.
- The absence of wings, engines, and tail pieces from the area surrounding the Pentagon point of impact.
- The fact that the hole made in the outside wall of the Pentagon was significantly smaller than the diameter of the 767 fuselage.
- The penetration of three highly reinforced Pentagon inner walls by a presumed thin-skinned, predominantly aluminum aircraft structure.
- The failure of the government to release factual data concerning any of the discrepancies listed above.
- The failure of the mainstream media to investigate and report the aforesaid discrepancies – choosing instead to dismissingly label challenges to the official conspiracy theory as “conspiracy theories”.
I’m happy to report that I’m not the only one examining the physics/energy issues of the WTC attacks. Someone called “meremarck” has recently weighed in on the subject at opednews.com. Their approach, while different from mine, is competent and well thought out. For those interested, it is well worth a read.