Real World Physics Review for "Truthers"

(Picture from here).

It’s time to give “truthers” a review of real world physics.

First, as pointed out before, mass doesn’t move mass, force does. The evidence is Newton’s First Law of Motion, or inertia, which states “An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force” (source). Hint: This means that if the nose section of the plane punches a hole in the wall of the building and the tail section came off, the tail section would follow the rest of the plane into the hole unless a force field suddenly popped up and stopped it – but, then, this real life, not Star Trek.

Before any “truther” asks where the unbalanced outside force came from in the case of the WTC, what do you think the planes were, chopped liver? How do I know the planes had force? It’s quite simple: both planes clearly had mass, and since they were being aimed at the WTC, they also had acceleration. Now, if the planes have both mass and acceleration and Newton’s Second law of Motion defines force as mass times acceleration, then clearly the planes had force.

Second, regarding the upper 16 floors of the Twin Towers, when they began their collapse, they accelerated at 9.8 m/s2. As I pointed out in a previous article, there’s a simple equation to figure out how fast an object is falling after a certain time period: v = v0 + at, but since the initial velocity in this case is zero, we can simply say v = at, so if the upper 16 floors, which had a mass of about 435,000 tons or 3.95 * 108 kilograms took half a second before contacting the lower floors, then v = 9.8m/s2(0.5s) = 4.9 m/s or 11 MPH. This may not seem very fast, but let’s have a look at the kinetic energy and force at this point.

The kinetic energy, which is ½ mv2 = ½ ( 3.98 * 108 kg)(4.9m/s)2 = 4.75 * 109 Joules. Hmm, that’s quite a bit of energy.

Now, as for the force, F = ma, and acceleration due to gravity for the earth is a CONSTANT 9.8 m/s2, so F = 3.95 * 108 kg(9.8 m/s2) = 3.88 * 109 Newtons. That’s a rather hefty force.

As for the puffs of dust, those were caused by the increasing air pressure inside the collapsing towers. Remember the Twin Towers, like most buildings, were mostly air, which is a gas. Boyle’s law states that volume is inversely proportional to pressure, or V = 1/P ( also written as P1V1 = P2V2). That means if the volume decreases, which it had to do if the towers were collapsing, the pressure must increase ( cut the volume in half and the pressure must double). The thing about air is that, unless mechanically assisted, it flows from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure, or “downhill” so to speak. Since the air pressure inside the collapsing towers was increasing, that means the air inside is going to flow outside, where the lower air pressure is and take any dust and light debris with it.

Finally, regarding the heat from the fire, unless mechanically assisted, heat will also flow from areas of high temperature to areas of low temperature or “downhill.” That means the heat from the fire would flow from the fire to the cooler vertical steel columns. The equation for heat transfer, as any physics book will tell you, is heat = mass of the object(specific heat)(change in temperature), and specific heat is the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of 1 gram of any substance 1ºC. The jet fuel clearly had mass. The thing is, it was merely the ignition source. Things like furniture, upholstery, carpet, etc were also burning and they all had mass and any time you add mass, aka fuel, to the fire, the temperature goes UP. Of course, all the other burning materials also had their own specific heat, so you need to add the specific heat of the many burning objects together. As anyone who understands basic algebra knows, if you increase any variable on the right-hand side of the above equation, the left hand side must increase as well.

Let’s not forget that a severe fire creates it’s own wind due to the convection currents caused by said fire; the fire heats up the air, the hot air rises, cools down, then sinks and the cycle repeats. That and fires climb due to one simple physical fact: fires are HOT and as even a first grader can tell you, HEAT RISES.


Posted May 19, 2008 by Victor Chabala in Real 9/11 Facts

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