Steven Jones and Frank Greening (and others) correspond - April-May, 2009.
(From Steven Jones...)
1) Newton’s Third Law as applied to WTC Tower
On April 19, 2009 F. Greening wrote to me and I replied:
FG: "I would say that Chandler's slight of hand is the implied notion that Newton's 3rd Law is universally applicable, even to a collapsing building. The fact is that when a building is collapsing by multiple floor failures the reaction force obviously fails to balance the downward force because the yield strength of the failing columns is being exceeded."
SJ: No. This is a blatant and fundamental error. I have caught many a student on the equivalent of this nonsense, as I taught Newtonian Mechanics for over 21 years. Newton's 3rd law is always applicable, even in the case you mention, Frank. The key is that the "equal and opposite forces" must act on DIFFERENT bodies. Suggest you consult a basic physics or mechanics text if you don't understand that. – Steven Jones
FG: So, to recap: Newton’s Laws apply to the external forces acting between interacting bodies in closed systems. Newton’s 3rd Law does not apply to the internal forces causing an open-structured body to collapse in on itself.
DC: Bullsh*t!!! Total absolute bullsh*t!!!!!!!! I can't believe I'm reading this from someone who claims to be a scientist. You get an F in my class.
FG: "Newton's 3rd Law applies to bouncing billiard balls not the interiors of collapsing buildings".
DC: You are so... so... absolutely full of sh*t!!! …I charge $60 (USD) per hour for tutoring. I'll round this lesson off to 1 hour. Please send the check to David Chandler (address redacted).
DC: Energy and Momentum did not come to destroy the law(s of Newton), they came to fulfill them. When you use concepts such as energy and momentum you are applying Newton's laws without knowing it. Within the confines of classical mechanics, which includes building demolitions, Newton's laws of motion are THE LAW. They are never, ever violated. If you apply concepts involving energy and momentum in such a way as to violate Newton's Laws, you are applying them incorrectly.
…If you want to see true insanity, turn a bunch of people loose in a physics discussion governed only by their intuition. What you get is a JREF forum.
FG: “Dear All,
Why all the fuss about Newtonian semantics?”
FL: Steve, you may be interested to know that Greening's lapse regarding Newton's third law has been exposed in Newsvine.
2) Discussion of the red/gray chips paper.
Also in the April-May time frame, there was a discussion between FG and authors of the paper “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe”; find the April 2009 published article at this link:
This back-and-forth (for those who gave permission to have their emails posted) has been posted by "metamars" here:
IMO, certain deficiencies in Greening’s thinking became evident, such as his statement:
“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.”
SJ response: “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:Fig. (21). Spheroid found in post-DSC residue showing iron-rich sphere and the corresponding XEDS spectrum. The carbon peak must be considered indeterminate here since this sample was flashed with a thin carbon layer in order to preclude charging under the electron beam.
SJ response cont’d: “Look again at the data (above) -- there is no Al in evidence. Furthermore, the amounts of Si and Ca and especially S here [are] 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.”
The absence of ZINC in the red chip material (our paper, Fig. 7), in particular, implies that this is NOT primer paint used on the WTC – it appears that FG agrees with this point.
A number of FG’s straw-man arguments were also identified and dispelled. On May 11, 2009, I wrote to FG:
SJ: “Nor is your conflation of "thermate" with "nanothermite" valid. Nor did I EVER write or say that thermate alone would suffice to bring down the Towers, but rather wrote that explosives would be needed (in addition).”
But sulfur is NOT needed for the function of explosive nanothermite and would not be expected to appear in the red/gray chips. Reliable and robust super- or nano-thermite ignitors would each be ignited by an electrical pulse generated by a radio-receiver, in turn igniting shaped charges to cut steel, the sequence beginning near where the planes went in for the Towers and computer-controlled, so that the destruction wave would proceed via explosives in top-down sequence. Thus, this was no conventional (bottom first) controlled demolition, agreeing on this with B. Blanchard, but I never claimed it was! (For the Towers; the demolition of WTC7 appears to be bottom-first and more conventional.) The top-down destruction of the Towers in this model would doubtless require more explosives than would a conventional controlled demolition. Thermate (an incendiary, not an explosive) is not the “be all and end all” explanation (FG’s terminology), nor did I ever claim it was – I have consistently pointed to evidence that explosives were used in bringing down the Towers.
The “working hypothesis” above is a scientific hypothesis, that is, subject to change as further research data emerge. It is also possible (for example) that explosive nanothermite (not an incendiary) could have been used in SHAPED CHARGES, to cut through steel explosively (a use suggested in Fig. 1 of Miziolek AW, “Nanoenergetics: an emerging technology area of national importance.” Amptiac Spring 2002; 6(1): 43-48. Available from: http://www.p2pays.org/ref/34/33115.pdf .
I continued on 11 May 2009 to FG: “My main gripe with your soliloquy today is that it ignores the additional data collected by on-going experiments which I described to you -- the comparison we did of the DSC trace for paint vs. for red/gray chips, the controls we did for the quantification of elements (using known chemical compounds as controls), the TEM studies, the independent clip by researcher Mark B. showing the very rapid ignition of the red material accompanied by gas generation, (He also observes microsphere formation.) Why did you not comment on these points?”
Thanks to "metamars" for encouraging this discussion and then posting the exchanges.