Science Debunks the 9/11 Conspiracy Crazies- by David Spira

Every 9/11, the conspiracy crazies come out to rant about myriad alternate realities they are living in.

I’m all for open, rational debate, but in my experience, these people are neither open, nor rational. I would link to some of them, but I don’t want to give them any attention (Giving a conspiracy nut attention is like getting a gremlin wet).

What I will do, is direct you to a wonderful article from Popular Mechanics that explains the science behind the World Trade Center collapse. It contains grounded arguments like:

Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750°F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn’t need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength — and that required exposure to much less heat. “I have never seen melted steel in a building fire,” says retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn, author of The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety. “But I’ve seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks.”

“Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F,” notes senior engineer Farid Alfawak-hiri of the American Institute of Steel Construction. “And at 1800° it is probably at less than 10 percent.” NIST also believes that a great deal of the spray-on fireproofing insulation was likely knocked off the steel beams that were in the path of the crashing jets, leaving the metal more vulnerable to the heat.

It may not be as sexy as George W. Bush having the CIA blow the buildings up with thermite… but then again, thermite is pretty cool. On the other hand, that that boring metallurgy stuff has fact to back it up.

In a world filled with ambiguity and half-truths, this is one event where witness accounts, government intelligence, the terrorist organization responsible, and science all come to the same conclusion. Let it be.

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About DigitalPlato

Poch is a Bookrix author and a freelance writer. He is a frequent contributor to TED Conversations.
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