The 9/11 Forum

Intelligent and evidence-based discussion of 9/11 issues

Skip to content

v

Welcome
Welcome!

Our vision is to provide a home to sincere 9/11 researchers free from biased moderation and abusive tirades from other members.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest, which only gives you access to view the discussions. New registration has been temporarily enabled; take advantage of it!

Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Discussions and analysis of thermite theories

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby Dr. G » Mon May 04, 2009 10:45 pm

I just sent this e-mail to the authors of the "Active Thermite" paper:

The "Active Thermite" debate, (if there ever was one!), has now sadly
reached a state of stasis and stalemate. It basically boils down to this: do
you believe Harrit and Jones or not. Or stated another way: Are the red/gray
chips definitive evidence that "energetic" nanothermitic agents were
pre-planted in the WTC or are these chips explainable in some other, less
conspiratorial, way?

To begin to answer this question we need to consider just how unusual, (or
not!) these red/gray chips really are. Harrit et al. believe that the
red/gray chips are indeed very remarkable - so much so that these authors
insist that these chips simply could not be found in dust produced by a
"natural" collapse of the Twin Towers. Harrit et al. make this claim mainly
because of two characteristics of the chips:

(i) Their alleged engineered "nano-scale" structure

(ii) Their alleged "highly energetic" pyrotechnic properties

With regard to the first of these points it is quite evident that Harrit et
al. have based their characterization of the WTC red/gray chips almost
entirely by copying the work of scientists at Texas Tech University and the
Lawrence Livermore National Labs who have made and patented nano-structured
energy-dense materials for use as detonators and pyrotechnic agents. (See
the papers and reports of authors such as M. L. Pantoya, T. M. Tillotson, R.
L. Simpson, B. J. Clapsaddle and A. E. Gash, as well as Chapter 7 of the
book "Energetic Materials" by U. Teipel) It is therefore very significant
that these nano-technology materials scientists consistently and repeatedly
make use of scanning electron microscopy, X-ray analysis, and DSC to
characterize their samples - precisely the techniques used by Harrit et al
to characterize their red/gray chips. But in spite of this obvious attempt
to convince the scientific community that the WTC red/gray chips are indeed
the high-tech creations of dedicated "nano-engineers" toiling away in some
clandestine weapons laboratory, these chips are in reality quite low-tech
and decidedly micro, as opposed to nano, in scale and structure.

With regard to point (ii) above, Harrit asserts that the chips are fragments
of an "energetic material". This claim is mostly based on DSC measurements,
but we need to consider: is it supported by experimental evidence? The
Harrit paper reports the energy content of the red chips to be in the range
1.5 - 7.5 kJ/g. This is in fact not very "energetic" at all when you
consider that common organic materials such as simple hydrocarbons or
oxygenated hydrocarbons contain far more energy per gram than the red chips.
Thus gasoline releases about 48 kJ/g, and stearic acid, found in plant and
animal fats, releases about 40 kJ/g upon combustion. Since carbon, in some
as yet unknown chemical state, is also found in the red chips, it is certain
that some of the energy content of the red chips is accounted for by this
non-thermitic ingredient. In fact, if the chips contained a mere 10 % of
graphitic carbon it would account for more than half of their energy
content!

Nevertheless, on page 28 of their paper, Harrit et al. offer another reason
to believe that the red chips are a highly energetic thermitic material:

". the DSC tests demonstrate the release of high enthalpy, actually
exceeding that of pure thermite. Furthermore, the energy is released over a
short period of time, shown by the narrowness of the peak in Figure 29."

This statement, also repeated in the Abstract to the paper, is simply not
correct and shows a complete lack of understanding of DSC by the authors of
the paper. Why do I say this? Well, Figure 29 is the DSC trace of a red chip
heated from 20 deg C to 700 deg C at 10 deg C/ min and shows an exothermic
peak extending from approximately 420 - 470 deg C. Now, as someone who has
run many DSC analyses on a wide variety of materials, I know that the height
and width of a DSC peak depends on many factors such as the sample-holder,
the furnace atmosphere, the sample packing density, etc, but most of all,
DSC peak widths depend on the heating rate. Given that the DSC trace of
Harrit et al. was acquired at 10 deg C/min and has a FWHM ~ 25 deg C, one
can be certain that a different peak width would have been obtained if a
different heating rate had been used. Thus DSC peak widths are not
indicative of reaction rates. This is amply illustrated by many of the DSC
traces and the discussion given in Chapter 5 of the well-known chemistry
textbook "Thermal Analysis" by W. Wendlandt.

Finally, I should add that DSC is most effectively used to study reaction
rates if it is carried out in isothermal mode using the Avrami-Erofeev
equations to analyse the data. This experimental approach allows a rate
constant and an activation energy to be calculated for the reaction
responsible for an exothermic peak. I am surprised that a Chemistry
Professor at a well-respected University appears to be unaware of this
simple fact ....

Yes indeed Prof. Harrit, you had the temerity to tell me to take my time and
not waste yours, when perhaps I should be telling you to take your time, but
not waste mine!
Dr. G
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:29 pm

 

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby einsteen » Tue May 05, 2009 6:29 am

Ok dr. G, this means that those chips found (if we support the OCT) is no hi-tech material, but something caused by natural processes ? And if it is hi-tech material its origin is electronic equipment. I've not read Harrit's paper but why did he conclude it is not one of these things ? Is he biased because he questions 911 or is he a real crackpot ? His reply is indeed disappointing and not professional. If you feel you are right then you should fight him or publish open letters, in the same way as the NIST provides nonsense with their faster than freefall non-physical exotic artificial exponential wtc7 collapse function. But furthermore do you see, or not see, any relation with the large amount of sphericules with which you are also still puzzling ? The latest I remember from jref is that the only possible 'debunk' they could make is that these sphericules were caused by welding activities during the construction.
einsteen
 
Posts: 324
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:19 pm

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby Dr. G » Tue May 05, 2009 1:51 pm

Einsteen:

Yes, it's too bad that Harrit appears uninterested in discussing his work with other scientists.

Now as for the spherical metal particles, there is surprisingly little additional information coming out on this topic. It certainly is true that iron-rich microspheres are produced when thermite mixtures are ignited. But there are other possible sources of these little critters! Welding and cutting operations during construction of the Twin Towers would have made some microspheres and I think it's possible such particles could have remained in nooks and crannies within the WTC until they were dispersed into the dust and debris of the collapsing buildings. There are other "natural" sources of iron-rich microspheres such as fly-ash from coal combustion, micrometeorites, wear particles from engines and brakes, emissions from metal smelting operations, manufactured products such as ink toner, etc ....

A more detailed analysis of the WTC microspheres would help eliminate some of these possibilities.
Dr. G
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:29 pm

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby metamars » Tue May 05, 2009 3:42 pm

As far as the microspheres produced by burning the red/grey chips are concerned, the Harrit team is emphatic that they were not in the chips, beforehand, and then simply 'revealed' by the burning. Also, given their relative size as revealed in the photos, that is what I automatically assumed.
metamars
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:25 am

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby Dr. G » Tue May 05, 2009 4:01 pm

Here is an e-mail exchange of interest:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From Dr. G to Steven Jones:

Your refusal to acknowledge that the way you (and your co-authors) have used DSC tells us nothing about the rate of reaction of the red chips, is duly noted. Sadly you appear to never have heard of isothermal DSC. I would be happy to provide you with a word file containing my notes on this topic but I suspect you are too close-minded to accept my offer of help on this.

But let me point out that S. Lobbecke et al. in Chapter 10 of the book "Energetic Materials" have this to say about the DSC analysis of these substances:

"The thermal analysis of energetic materials requires particularly exact experimental procedures. Owing to the strong exothermic decomposition reactions, small sample sizes of < 1.0 mg, slow heating rates and open sample crucibles are required. The sample itself has to be well characterized in advance ....."

As examples of proper DSC technique Lobbecke et al. discuss the DSC of ammonium dinitramide and hexanitrohexa-aza-isowurtzitane (CL-20) and use heating rates of 0.5 deg C /min. Thus your use of a 10 deg C/min heating rate on samples of your red/gray chips appears to be inappropriate to say the least.

I find it interesting, and quite telling, that in your e-mail below you continue to harp on about "the fact of a rapid reaction" but now DSC is not the proof of fast reaction kinetics! No, the formation of iron-rich microspheres is the proof! I have never heard any chemist use the physical state of a reaction product to draw conclusions about a reaction rate! Nevertheless, let's consider your IRON-RICH SPHERES. Now these might be of some value to your theory but the XEDS spectrum of the residue from the ignition of your red/gray chips is far from convincing because it shows lots of Al, Si and O, along with some Fe - elements which are all found in your starting material! And are you unaware that magnetic "iron-rich" microspheres are found in abundance in coal, wood and municipal waste incinerator fly ash?

Frank

----- Original Message -----

From: Steven Jones
To: Metamars
Cc: Frank Greening ; James Gourley ; Gregg Roberts ; Frank Legge ; Jeffrey Farrer ; Danny Farnsworth ; Brlbu ; Niels Harrit

Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 1:12 AM

Subject: Re: Are the red/gray chips stable to hammer blows, or will they ignite?

The iron-oxide grains are approximately 100 nm across, which fits the requirement for nano-thermite as defined in the literature, despite Greening's obfuscation of this point.

Now this is the point that is critical to the fact of a rapid reaction, which the paper emphasizes and James re-iterates and Frank Greening ignores:

The formation of iron-rich spheres of micron+ sizes DURING the ignition,
Shown in Figs 20 and 21 AND 25.

The formation of these iron-rich spheres implies extremely high temperatures and is more important, IMO, than the narrowness of the DSC trace. We carefully examined the red/gray chips in each case BEFORE ignition and there were NO spheres of micron+ sizes in the pre-ignition samples.

Yet Greening ignores these data -- let's see if he will now address them, correctly, and not as he misunderstood Newton's Third Law.

Steven J

PS -- I have added Niels back into the discussion and note that Greening chides Niels, even after Greening removed Niels from the list of recipients. (Which is, of course, unfair to Prof. Harrit on Greening's part.)
Dr. G
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:29 pm

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby Major_Tom » Tue May 05, 2009 5:24 pm

It would be nice if this exchange leads to you writing a criticism of the paper in a form we can study and post elsewhere.

I bet it would be a good read.
Major_Tom
 
Posts: 3278
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:04 pm

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby Major_Tom » Tue May 05, 2009 5:31 pm

(I hope you don't take the baiting on the third law. chips are the issue)
Major_Tom
 
Posts: 3278
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:04 pm

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby metamars » Tue May 05, 2009 7:46 pm

:idea:

I sent an email to 4 of the professor's on John Granier's Ph.D. dissertation committee, asking them to comment on the Thermitic paper. I just don't have the time to go looking for nano-thermite experts, in person. I requested that they weigh in with their opinions and criticism directly to this thread.

Let's keep our fingers crossed. :)
metamars
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:25 am

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby metamars » Tue May 05, 2009 9:18 pm

The Granier thesis, p. 212 (233, total), Figure G.8a - 20μm Al + MoO3 DSC Curves (5, 10 and 15 Kpm), shows superimposed plots for the same type of aluminothermic. The peak exotherms are all pretty sharp and overlap (i.e., occur at about the same temperature). However, the peak heights vary by over a factor of 2, and the widths of the exotherms vary by more than that (perhaps by a factor of 3)

Since I don't understand DSC's well, I'm reluctant to say what all that means. There's also interesting DSC plots as function of time, rather than temperature. Also of interest is p. 128 (p 149, total). Here the author describes how , by stopping the heating of the sample, he stops the reaction, even though it's exothermic. He later resumes the heating, and the reaction resumes, also.

Writing this post, and looking at the Granier dissertation yet again, is what recently motivated me to email Granier's dissertation committee. I'd rather be a spectator as people who really understand this stuff, like Dr. G., discuss it. Some Ph.D. physicists don't even know what a DSC is, so I'm in good company, I suppose.
metamars
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:25 am

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby Dr. G » Wed May 06, 2009 1:10 am

More e-mails:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dr. G to Frank Legge,

No, there is nothing wrong with my logic! I really wish you would take the time to read Chapter 5 of Wendlandt’s book “Thermal Analysis”. If you did you would not be so keen to compare your DSC trace with Tillotson’s unless you can prove to me that the Netzsch 404C DSC used by your group has the same instrumental characteristics as the TA Model 2920 DCS used by Tillotson.

As I have already mentioned in a previous e-mail, a DSC peak shape depends on all of the following factors:

Furnace atmosphere, size and shape

Sample-holder material and geometry

Nature and location of the thermocouple

The heating rate

The sample mass, particle size, and packing density

The thermal characteristics (conductivity, heat capacity) of the sample

Because of all of these variables/uncertainties you cannot conclude, as you apparently do, that “the red chips reacted faster than Tillotson’s sample”.

Now while this is a good example of how quickly you guys jump to conclusions, your comments about the iron-rich microspheres constitute an even greater leap of faith! Here I am referring to your amazing non sequitur: “ Does not the production of a ball of iron not prove the thermite reaction by itself?”

The simple answer to this question is already embodied in my last response to you and your group: Iron-rich microspheres are found in almost any incinerator ash and they generally also contain significant quantities of Si, Al and O plus traces of Ca, Mg, Ti, etc.

But let’s be clear on this: the Harrit et al. paper actually says nothing about “balls of iron”. The microspheres reported in the Harrit paper could at best be described as "iron-rich", with Al, Si and O always present. But let me remind you, this is also true for the magnetically separated microspheres found in incinerator ashes – they contain mostly Fe, Al, Si, and O. (And I have plenty of references to support this claim)

Now since the red/gray chips and the resultant microspheres contain Fe, Al, Si and O we must look at the appropriate phase stability diagrams for systems such as FeO-Al2O3-SiO2 and consider the associated melting points.

An iron oxide phase in the presence of silica and alumina results in a rapid fall in the overall melting point. For example, fayalite, 2FeOSiO2, has a m.p. of 1205 deg C. The ternary system fayalite-hercynite-iron-cordierite which is essentially FeO-Al2O3-SiO2 with traces of Ca and/or Mg, has a liquid eutectic at 1088 deg C.

Need I go on?

(Dr. G)

----- Original Message -----

From: Frank Legge
To: Frank Greening
Cc: Steven Jones ; James Gourley ; Gregg Roberts ; Jeffrey Farrer ; Danny Farnsworth ; Brlbu ; Niels Harrit

Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 12:44 PM
Subject: Re: Are the red/gray chips stable to hammer blows, or will they ignite?

Frank Greening, again your logic is off the beam. Jones is not suggesting that the production of iron rich spheres is a measure of a rapid reaction. Can you not see that the production of iron rich spheres is proof of temperatures far too high to result from the combustion of organics, and therefore proof of another chemical reaction? How many chemical reactions would be possible given the known starting materials and products, and given that one of the products is molten iron? I can only think of the thermite reaction. Can you please list your alternatives?

Even if the Analysis does not show unequivocally that iron has been reduced and aluminium oxidized (which I think it does), does not the production of a ball of iron not prove the thermite reaction by itself?

And by the way how can you justify your remark that the narrowness of the DSC exotherm indicates nothing about the rate of reaction? Does it not tell us that the red chips reacted faster than the Tillotson sample, which showed a wider exotherm when run at the same rate? I believe one may produce a valid hypothesis to test that Tillotson's material was not as advanced as the red chips, being an earlier experimental material.

Frank Legge
Dr. G
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:29 pm

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby einsteen » Wed May 06, 2009 8:16 am

Then as a lay man I would say that if these products (iron-rich microspheres, bi-layered thermite chips) are caused by natural and/or combustion processes it is the total amount that matters.
einsteen
 
Posts: 324
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:19 pm

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby metamars » Wed May 06, 2009 1:39 pm

Dr. G wrote:
But let me point out that S. Lobbecke et al. in Chapter 10 of the book "Energetic Materials" have this to say about the DSC analysis of these substances:

"The thermal analysis of energetic materials requires particularly exact experimental procedures. Owing to the strong exothermic decomposition reactions, small sample sizes of < 1.0 mg, slow heating rates and open sample crucibles are required. The sample itself has to be well characterized in advance ....."

As examples of proper DSC technique Lobbecke et al. discuss the DSC of ammonium dinitramide and hexanitrohexa-aza-isowurtzitane (CL-20) and use heating rates of 0.5 deg C /min. Thus your use of a 10 deg C/min heating rate on samples of your red/gray chips appears to be inappropriate to say the least.


I am wondering if this is basically a nit-pick. In the Granier dissertation, he says,

Figure 9.8 also suggests that the Al+MoO3 reaction is path dependent. For example, similar to the laser experiments, the 2-drop calorimeter experiments are ignited rapidly with a nichrome wire. This rapid heating and subsequent ignition results in a violent reaction with energy levels near 5000 J/g for nm-Al samples. On the other hand, the slowly heated DSC samples were not violently reacted (evident by the unmoved powder product still in the crucible after the experiment) and displayed a maximum reaction energy around 2600 J/g for similar nm-Al samples. This suggests that the rate of heating to stimulate ignition of a diffusion based reaction dramatically effects the reaction path.
One can speculate that the slow reactions in the DSC may generate highly organized oxide layer growth around the Al cores that inhibit the Al and oxygen diffusion. Slow heating rates allow elongated oxide growth intervals that may deter future reactions. Whereas rapid reactions do not allow organized oxide growth. The rapid thermal expansion of the Al particles and gases around reaction zones may prevent the formation of oxide barriers between unreacted Al and oxygen molecules. Instead, the thermal gas expansion may propel reacting particles to new locations generating separarted and dispersed Al2O3 that have less effect subsequent molecular diffusion and reactions. The heat of reaction measured by DSC experiments cannot achieve the same magnitudes as the 2-drop calorimetry tests due to a combination of the reaction path dependence and overall reaction duration.


In another part of his dissertation, he talks about a DSC where there was a mini-explosion, and so his results beyond the point of explosion are uncertain. :D Isn't running a DSC of ammonium dinitramide and hexanitrohexa-aza-isowurtzitane (CL-20) at such a slow rate mostly to avoid a mini-explosion? Or, to help isolate the reaction path that the data represents?

I am wondering if, while a simple comparison to Tillotson is unwarranted, due to the many variables involved (as you mention), not considered by Harrit, et. al., nevertheless the Harrit DSC's are giving you a fairly sharp peak, so we can, indeed, say that the reaction proceeded quickly, even if we are not sure which "path" was taken during the reaction. Looking at Harrit, Fig. 29, the peak basically occurs within 20 degrees. At 10 deg/minute, that means all of 2 minutes.

The way I look at this, this represents a lower bound as to how quickly samples in the field would have burnt (OK, I'm ignoring the ventilation of the sample during DSC...) Now, if samples in the field took all of 2 minutes to react, this means that red/grey chips cannot be used as an explosive (which in no way would make them unsuitable for a 'slow CD' scenario, which I believe is more plausible, anyway, than an explosive CD scenario).

However, looking at the smoothness of the Harrit DSC plot, it's my impression that they did not have a 'mini-explosion'. Therefore, I assume that the upper bound is higher than the lower bound, which is another way of saying that we can't really tell from the Harrit DSC plot whether or not the red/gray chips could function as an explosive. Do you agree with this much?

Now, if the issue is whether or not a 2 minute DSC spike Harrit obtained should be considered strong evidence of nanothermite, because it indicates a reaction that is both so fast ( 2 min) and also so total (integrating the peak area will give you, say, 90% of the energy released) that comparing with other nanothermite DSC's indicates that this should be considered evidence for the Harrit sample also being an aluminothermic, I'm not qualified to say.

My best guess (again, speaking as somebody who has not made a study of DSC's), is that while DSC's for aluminothermics come in a large variety of shapes (some, e.g., with 2 major peaks), getting a materials which react predominantly Al, Fe, and O, which have both a narrow peak and a peak which integrates to almost all of the total energy released, is unique to an aluminothermic material. However,

1) I certainly haven't done a study of DSC's of various materials - for all I know, there's many other substances that can give such DSC's, with peaks in the 430 - 500 C range*. However, as in the case of the so-far mythical paint primer chips, so zealously believed in by some JREF'ers, which either contains microspheres of the large size seen in the combusted Harrit red/grey chips, or else inevitably produced in them upon combustion, nobody has actually produced such a DSC, yet. Much less such a DSC which contains the primary atomic species known to be in the red chip material. Do you agree with the last two sentences? If not, can you show give us the reference to such a DSC?

2) I believe they might have better nailed down the question whether or not the red/grey chips can be explosive, by running DSC tests at higher and higher rates of heating until they get a mini-explosion, and then comparing these abortive DSC's with other such DSC's of known aluminothermics, as, e.g., some of the DSC's in Granier. Whle the ignition of a red gray chip is qualitatively suggestive, my guess is that even comparison to an abortive, explosive DSC will give you a reasonably quantitative basis for comparison.

* I'm only aware of DSC's of known nanothermites that have onsets as low as 430 C, with peaks as low as ~ 500 C. However, given the differing morphology of the Al containing platelets, and the fact the AlOxide has yields in the MPa range, while the "hoop strength" of the spherical AlOxide coating is in the GPa range, I don't see the Harrit DSC's peaking at around 430 C as a serious discrepancy.


ETA: Figure 8.5: 40Kpm violent reaction of 80nm-Al+MoO3 in Granier, p. 131 (p. 152, total) shows a peak that comes to a sharp point. I'll try and post a picture of it later. Granier writes,

The figure shows a sharp DSC peak compared to the broad peaks shown in Figure 8.3 and a distinct TG mass loss (no mass loss occurred in any of previous nm- Al+MoO3 TG results).
...
Once the DSC furnace was opened, it was apparent that the crucible and lid were had been thrown from the sample carrier (represented by the large TG mass loss and the loss of signal by the thermocouple). Even for a small mass (13.7mg), the reaction was hot enough to elevate the temperature of the reference crucible (making any enthalpy calculations past the reference disturbance point incorrect). The crucible was also empty of any sample products because the products were ejected from the crucible, solidified and dispersed as powder inside the furnace.
It was this "violent reaction" that I referred to as a "mini-explosion".


ETA #2: Here it is (bottom DSC):

Image

Gentle DSC's of 80 nm Al+MoO3, at 5 Kpm - 20 Kpm (top)
DSC of violently reacting 80 nm Al+MoO3, at 40 Kpm (bottom)


(Top is Granier Fig 8.1)

Get the point? :)
metamars
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:25 am

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby Dr. G » Wed May 06, 2009 6:07 pm

Metamars:

I will look at your post in detail shortly.

Meanwhile, here's my response to a nice e-mail (also included) from Steven Jones:


-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Steven,

Thanks for pointing out Figure 21 to me! That's very interesting, especially when compared to Figure 25 from the same paper since both of these Figures purportedly show XEDS spectra of particles remaining after the ignition of red/gray chips; but, surprise, surprise, they are quite different! Now how could that be? Apparently some of the post-ignition microspheres contain Al and some doesn't. This suggests to me that there are at least two entirely different kinds of red/gray chips which is not what your paper says.

And, by the way, I have to say that Figure 21 is rather strange. The alleged "microsphere" has a white fluffy appearance which is inconsistent with a metallic particle. The microsperes in Figures 24 and 27 are more typical of metallic particles since they are quite smooth and dark. Bright, whitish particles in an electron micrograph are a sign of specimen charging which is indicative of a non-conducting material, not a metallic substance!

But turning to the rest of your e-mail, Steven, it really is now quite obvious to me that you really dont understand DSC at all! Let's look at one of the amazing claims made by you in your e-mail:

"The melting points of iron and of iron oxide are both above 1200 C, yet the DSC reached only 700 C, insufficient to cause melting of iron or iron oxide".

It is very instructive to compare this nonsense with a much more meanigful comment from the other Professor in your team, Prof. Harrit, who e-mailed to say:

"And of course, a DSC instrument cannot fully resolve an event where the temperature jumps to 1500 degr. in milliseconds (or micro?)."

You see Steven, Prof Harrit has it right and you, as I say, obviously do not understand your own DSC results. A DSC measures the difference in the thermocouple signals comming from an inert reference material permamently installed in the instrument and a sample inserted in the instrument for testing. The differential output signal is converted to an energy output (per gram of sample) and plotted against the furnace temperature. However, even if the instrument's furnace temperature is reading, say 500 deg C, the sample can momentarily be much hotter than this if it's undergoing an exothermic reaction. Indeed, if what you say is true, your DSC instrument could never generate any iron microspheres now could it?

Sorry Steven, no need for nanothermites! Silicates and iron oxides, with traces of Al, Ca, Mg, Ti and K impurities, can undergo all sorts of reactions well below 1300 deg C - try reading some books on steelplant refractories and slags if you dont believe me .....

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----- Original Message -----
From: Steven Jones
To: Frank Legge
Cc: Frank Greening ; James Gourley ; Gregg Roberts ; Jeffrey Farrer ; Danny Farnsworth ; Brlbu ; Niels Harrit
Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 2:20 AM

Subject: Re: Are the red/gray chips stable to hammer blows, or will they ignite?

Greening claim: " The microspheres reported in the Harrit paper could at best be described as "iron-rich", with Al, Si and O always present. But let me remind you, this is also true for the magnetically separated microspheres found in incinerator ashes – they contain mostly Fe, Al, Si, and O. (And I have plenty of references to support this claim

Now since the red/gray chips and the resultant microsphers contain Fe, Al, Si and O we must look at the appropriate phase stability diagrams for systems such as FeO-Al2O3-SiO2 and consider the associated melting points."

Bullshit! Dr. Farrer and Danny and I have looked at many of these post-DSC spheres, many do NOT contain Al. See for example Fig 21 in our paper:

Look again at the data (above) -- there is no Al in evidence. Furthermore, the amounts of Si and Ca and especially S here is trivial. The melting points of iron and of iron oxide are both above 1200 C, yet the DSC reached only 700 C, insufficient to cause melting of iron or iron oxide.

Nice try, Dr. Greening. You do like to "bullshit", don't you? You were caught in the act earlier in our discussion of Newton's Third Law... now this!
Dr. G
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:29 pm

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby Major_Tom » Thu May 07, 2009 7:14 pm

Wow. I think he is baiting you to deviate from the subject of chips.

I hope you remain calm.
Major_Tom
 
Posts: 3278
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:04 pm

Re: Active Thermitic Material in WTC Dust

Postby Dr. G » Thu May 07, 2009 11:49 pm

Major-Tom:

Thanks, I try to remain calm by remembering no one is perfact ... (See what I mean!)

Here is my latest e-mail to the nanothermite proponents:

Dear All,

First off, if I have offended anyone it certainly was not my intention and I think the record shows that I have generally refrained from snide remarks, unlike some members of your group. You have to recognize that in this current round of e-mail exchanges I am one (lone) voice against nine, and I am at a severe disadvantage because I have no WTC dust samples and I have not seen all of your data. If I appear to misunderstand a point or two in your paper you should perhaps accept that parts of the paper are confusing, light on important details, or poorly written.....

Nevertheless, I do not accept that I have ever posted "nonsense" but, on the contrary, I have to say that I feel some of your views and the "science" you use to back up your claims with regard to what happened to the Twin Towers are in my opinion (and the opinion of many critics around the world) best described as "nonsense". Interestingly, you all dodge the question: How was your (alleged) nanothermite actually used? And when I start to ponder this question I soon find myself thinking that the whole idea is indeed nonsense. I have, as a mental exercise, even proposed my own conspiracy theory - that the WTC thermal insulation was laced with ammonium perchlorate (AP) - and have provided as much or more evidence for this hypothesis as your team has for nanothermite. Simply put, an AP theory makes more sense than your mysterious nanothermite ignitors which make no sense at all! And let's not forget that not so long ago Steven Jones was telling the world that THERMATE was used to bring down the Towers!

I would say that if you guys really believe you have "hit the mother lode" with nanothermite, you are approaching the dissemination of this discovery the wrong way. You should (probably with the help of lawyers) be writing to the FBI, Homeland Security, NIST, FEMA and to other law enforcement/ disaster mitigation agencies and inform them of your discovery. You shold be writing to the managers and scientists at National Labs such as LLNL, NASA, Los Alamos, etc. You should be writing to politicians, activists and the media. An article in an obscure Chemical Physics Journal is not going to influence anyone bacause most academics are ivory-towered, blinkered specialists who are indifferent to anything but their own careers and ambitions.

Finally, debating nanothermite on the internet is really the biggest waste of time of all. As we have seen, it's an exercise in BS and bombast for some and a source of entertainment for many others; this is really too bad, but as Shakespeare so aptly said about life: "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing"
Dr. G
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:29 pm

PreviousNext



Return to Thermite and Nanothermite

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron

suspicion-preferred