Physics/911

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Question
Hi ,

There are thousands of architects and engineers who claim that the WTC building could not have collapsed by the impact of the hijacked planes. Please see below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architects_%26_Engineers_for_9/11_Truth

Is it possible for a building to collapse from top to down when the impact is only at the top of the building? Can the fire propagate and melt the steel or iron rods in a uniform fashion. Also they claims that the collapse seems to look like controlled demolition rather than an attack. Please explain.

Answer
I saw the collapses happen.  And those buildings were on fire for a very long time, the melting makes perfect sense.  The planes chosen were chosen for their fuel content as much as their origin locations.  It looked like slow failure reaching a tipping point of a pancake collapse to me.  When you mix emotional responses in there's a tendency for bad thought processes to second-guess perfectly ordinary conclusions.  This "for the truth" conspiracy stuff is, in my opinion, not worth listening to at all.  They have no real actual reason to think along those lines when the solutions seems a lot more obvious.

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

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Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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