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9/11 Science Club! What Are Specific Heat and Heat-Energy Content?

Note this post deleted at original source below, this site has been displaying this pattern with 9/11 threads.


They pulled it off by dumbing us down. Education and critical thinking are vital to democracy. Science is fun!

Specific heat can be defined as the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of a substance, such as wood or steel, by one degree C.

Heat content is the heat energy which can be generated by a given mass a substance.

A calorie is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree C.

Converting the energy unit calories to British Thermal Units (BTUs), and the mass unit of grams to pounds, some specific heats are:

aluminum: .22 BTU/lb.
copper: .09 BTU/lb.
iron: .11 BTU/lb.

For aluminum this means it requires .22 BTUs to raise the temperature of a pound of aluminum by one degree.

Some heat content values are:

wood: 7870 BTU/lb.
paper: 6500 BTU/lb.
gasoline: 19000 BTU/lb.

For wood this means a pound of wood can generate 7870 BTUs. A pound of gasoline can generate 19000 BTUs. Therefore gasoline contains more heat energy per pound than wood.


On 9/11 it is argued that the fires did or did not reach sufficient temperatures to sufficiently weaken the steel to induce global collapse. But temperature is only one factor. The total heat content of the available fuel would have to be sufficient to raise the 95,000 tons of steel in the frame to a sufficient temperature, since steel is an excellent heat conductor and it would dissipate quickly to all parts of the steel frame. Steel is considered an ideal "heat sink."

In addition, a mechanically forced oxygen supply is required to burn fuel efficiently enough for it to reach its maximum burning temperature and deliver its maximum heat content. In order to make steel soft enough to be malleable, air must be pumped forcefully through the fuel with an instrument such as a bellows. A blast furnace gets its name from the air "blasted" forcefully with an air compressor through fuel such as coal.

In steel forming and forging, the ratio of coal or coke (refined coal) to steel required to make steel soft or to melt is anywhere from 1-to-3, to 1-to-2. This is high heat content fuel burning in an enclosed and insulated chamber at its maximum efficiency.

It is estimated that there were an average of 4 pounds per sq. foot of combustibles in the office space of the Twin Towers. There was 40,000 sq. feet of office space per floor. Therefore, the total amount of combustibles would be:

4 x 40,000 x 110 floors = 17.6 million pounds of combustibles

17.6 million lbs = 8,800 tons.

A full load of jet fuel for a 767 is about 80 tons, insignificant compared to the total amount of office combustibles.

Jet fuel is only kerosene, and has roughly the same heat content as burning plastics and office synthetics, and burns at about the same temperature in open air. Most of the kerosene blew out in the fireballs.

Therefore the available combustible fuel in one tower was 8,800 + 80 = 8,880 tons

The total amount of structural steel in the towers was 95,000 tons, 35,000 tons of it in the core bundles.

Only a small number of the floors were on fire, and those were already going out by the time global destruction ensued. However, even making the most generous of assumptions, that the planes were fully loaded with kerosene, that there was no loss to the fireballs, that every bit of combustible fuel on every floor was burning white hot at maximum efficiency (as under a forced air supply) and burning as hot as coal in a ceramics-insulated blast furnace or foundry, the ratio of fuel to steel is still only 1-to-10, not 1-to-3 or 1-to-2, as the most efficient of blast furnaces or foundries requires.

Granting the still generous assumption that a full 20 floors were on fire at white hot, maximum efficiency as hot as coal would make the ratio of fuel-to-steel 1-to-50.

We know these generous assumptions are not true. The fires were small, isolated, and already going out as evidenced by black smoke (sign of a cool, oxygen-starved fire,) firefighter radio transmissions, and people standing alive near the fires in open windows. Carbon-based life could not exist near a fire hot enough to make steel soft, but would be shriveled to carbon and water.

The plane hits themselves were insignificant. A 767 fully loaded weighs about 200 tons, whereas the mass of each tower which absorbed and dissipated the kinetic energy was about 500,000 tons. This is a weight ratio of 1-to-2500. Steel is much denser than aluminum and the planes were shredded on impact, as photographic evidence confirms.

Any damaged support columns would have resulted in load redistribution to remaining columns, of which there were 47 running continuously up the entire 110 floors.

This is why steel framed buildings do not, and have never, collapsed from fires. Steel is too strong, and open air fires do not burn hot enough, NOR IS THERE ENOUGH FUEL PRESENT WHICH CONTAINS SUFFICIENT HEAT ENERGY. Focusing on temperatures alone misses the more important concept of heat transfer. A blowtorch can reach 5,000F at the flame tip, hot enough to melt steel, but you cannot take a skyscraper down in 14 seconds with a blowtorch.

Please discuss, challenge scientific values, calculations, or assumptions. There is no such thing as a dumb question.

IMAGE: Shredded aircraft fuselage

IMAGE: Core backbone of tower under construction

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I love science, but finances dictate my immediate concerns

If only more people were as interested in science as the OP! The comment below about Japan and German citizens being more doubtful of the "official" story of 9/11 due to their better grounding in maths and sciences is true in my experience.

I have given up trying to get people interested in the physics behind 9/11. I'm not trying to discourage that effort, don't get me wrong. It think the Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth have the right idea on that front.

My efforts in generating individual inquiries into 9/11 have shifted from physics to economics. Donald Rumsfeld announced on 9/10 that the Pentagon could not account for USD $2 trillion. This announcement never received the attention it deserved because of the events on the following morning.

Two trillion dollars would go a long way to easing our impending financial woes as a nation.

If the accountants investigating that missing money were indeed killed as a result of the impact into the Pentagon on 9/11, well, that should receive even more attention.

All awakenings are slow, but 9/11 truth has grown

by leaps and bounds. It always starts with the diligent and interested, either educated or self-educated layman, who is often an "opinion leader" in his/her community. It is the guy in the bar in Alaska whom everyone knows reads a lot and is more informed than the rest, and though equal in everything else, is listened to when it comes to matters of public policy and politics. That's who this reaches out to.

Colorado PBS is already running AE911 "Experts Speak Out." That is the result of a whole lot of people changing their minds about 9/11.

Release the Sandy Hook video.

I wish I could have come up with a question

alas, I could not, but shall bump anyway.

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

You'll think of one!

lots to chew on.

Release the Sandy Hook video.

Well done. Unfortunately, the

Well done.

Unfortunately, the general level of knowledge is so low that words like "adiabatic", and the concepts represented, have zero meaning to the overwhelming majority.

"Freedom suppressed and again regained bites with keener fangs than freedom never endangered." -- Cicero

Good point, but there is more going on here than ignorance

You don't need a degree in thermodynamics to understand the basics of heat and materials. One comment mentions charcoal fluid in a grill, other examples are a steel pan on a stove, a fire in a woodstove, welding metals, a gas furnace, internal combustion motor, a jet engine, people know organic fuels don't melt steel.

There is a psychological barrier going on here where seemingly intelligent people refuse to see the truth. Maybe its a fear of their world view, if they did realize what really happened, they couldn't deal with it.

You're entirely right in

You're entirely right in saying you don't need to be a thermo expert to understand this. One just needs to fully understand the old Styrofoam cup bomb calorimeter experiment everyone should have done at least once in middle/high school. How many people really understood that experiment? How many people remember it? How many even did it? Of those who did it, how many let their lab partner do everything, or faked the results or just plain bull-sh$#&&!d their way through? What percentage of the population has confidence in their ability to take the theoretical principles of the experiment and visualize application on the scale required to understand what the OP was talking about?

No question there is a mental block which prevents people from accepting what the OP says, or the many other arguments that show the official story to be false. However, part of that block is the person does not have enough confidence in their understanding to "overturn" the word of countless "important" people. Certainly the block goes beyond that, I've argued with too many fellow engineers who should know better to say otherwise, but lack of knowledge is a piece.

Different people are going to have different hang-ups which prevent them from accepting reality, be they cowardice, ignorance... The best we can do is work with each person as an individual to help them understand. As more understand, it will be easy to convince others. Eventually the mass of morons will join, one by one, just so they don't look stupid.

You know what I've found works well for convincing engineers and people who should know the science but have hang-ups? Gently, intelligently, insult them. Imply that they are stupid or cowardly. Belittle them. They won't come round at first, but many eventually do.

"Freedom suppressed and again regained bites with keener fangs than freedom never endangered." -- Cicero


Have you seen Judy Woods book, where did the towers go? She brings up anomalies that seem to defy conventional explanation, steel beams turning to powder, rapid oxidation on the metals, etc. The towers did not simply pancake down, they were turned to powder. It would seemingly take a huge amount of energy to shred them to such fine particles.

I haven't seen her book. I

I haven't seen her book. I started to question her credibility after she made some very basic physics mistakes regarding conservation of momentum back in her early days. It felt like negligence given that she was an ME professor. Later I heard her talking about mini-nukes and space based weapons, which, given all the evidence, completely destroyed her credibility.

No doubt the concrete was turned into dust, which requires serious energy. That energy can't be accounted for in the official theory. I spent years researching this and never saw any evidence that the steel was turned to powder. Thermite and byproducts, yes. Columns turned to powder, no. I know the claims she makes about the rapid oxidation are better explained by simpler answers which do have supporting evidence.

Over the first year or so of her involvement in the truth movement I watched Wood go from someone reasonable who made some basic errors to a liability. She and a handful of others acted reasonable and rational until a serious push was made for credible research. They positioned themselves in fledgling academic organizations, one as a co-founder, then started spouting completely unsubstantiated claims, some of which are at best sci-fi. Be very careful of believing any of her claims. She concocts an outrageous theory, then shoehorns evidence into that theory. Her explanation of oxidation on the cars is foolish. I suspect whatever she is saying about powdered metal is too.

In truth, I suspect she and a handful of others are agents intent on poisoning the well. If they aren't, then they are nuts. I watched her and her compatriots closely.

"Freedom suppressed and again regained bites with keener fangs than freedom never endangered." -- Cicero

Interesting . .


I was at a backyard barbeque with a physicist discussing 9-11

suddenly the grill collapsed from the heat of the charcoal fluid. I said thank you, point proven. Long chain carbons and VOCs can obviously cause thermal failure in steel structures when burning at ooh ah temps.

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Here is what a melted building looks like.

You are right, buildings can melt in fire. Here is what it looks like.
Same day, same fire source as WTC 7. Fire does not VAPORIZE steel, concrete, porcelain, etc (and leave a passport.)

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

sharkhearted's picture

Bump, bump, and bump

Important information. Thank you for sharing.

Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

If you will research...

If you will do a wikipedia search you will clearly see that fire did not cause the building collapse. The open air burning temperature for jet fuel is 500 to 600 degrees fahrenheit the temperature for steel to become molten is 1100 to 1300. Tons of photos in the aftermath show molten steel in the ruble it is undeniable. Jet fuel did not melt steel beams period. Talk to any welder and ask them if they could melt steel with open air burning of kerosene(jet fuel/kerosene basically the same) and they would laugh at you. Nothing in that building that was combustible could reach the temperature of 1100 to 1300 degrees fahrenheit to melt steel. That is only if you eliminate the use nano thermite which burns at a temp of 1550 fahrenheit. Does this open any ones eyes or make anyone question the "official" explanation? You can not melt steel with 600 degrees of heat, it can not be done.


Several statements you make are simply not true

Steel does not melt at the temps you state, it is actually much higher than 1300F, about 2200 if I ember correctly. Steel does however lose a lot of its strength at around 1200F as the heat expands the carbon lattice structure in the alloy which reduces strength and hardness signifcantly (about 90%)

Materials in the building could definitely have burned at 1200F, a standard wood buring stove can reach temps of 1100F, and that is with the air supply intentionally restricted. Give kerosene plenty of air and it will indeed burn at 1200F. Consider the building as a stove, and the center stair column as a big chimney at least 500' high, and normal wind velocities at the roughly 1000' altitude where the planes struck....there was plenty of air, almost a blast furnace actually. This is why materials continued to come out of the buildings and fall to ground long after the planes hit, nmuch of the paper and debris was simply being blown out of the buildings by the wind.

Josh Brueggen
Jack of all Trades
Precinct Commiteeman Precinct 5 Rock Island Co Illinois

The fires were oxygen starved.

The black smoke coming off of the fires tell use that the fires did not have enough oxygen to burn complete. The black smoke is un-burned fuel.

The material VAPORIZED.

Show me ANY other footage of fire vaporizing steel.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

Vaporized steel girder

Same steel girder.

The only time fire has ever vaporized steel.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

all true. But what I think people lack is a basic high school

science foundation which precludes any notion that the towers could have behaved as described. It is not just impossible; it is perfectly laughable.

Talk about temperatures and deniers will tell you that the steel didn't need to melt, just weaken. Only when you clear up the confusion between temperature and heat energy transfer can people understand beyond the shadow of a doubt. The magnitude of burning fuel to steel is off by a factor of hundreds, even if that fuel was burning as hot as it can burn.

Germans and Japanese laugh at the official story, because they still take math and science. Our education system has failed us. So we need to start "science club" and teach the basic principles to ourselves.

Release the Sandy Hook video.

Of course not...

Of course not, a 30 second google images search for "molten steel, twin towers" came up with this. http://911conspiracy.wordpress.com/tag/molten-steel/ it and all the other images must have been photoshoped. Maybe this is photoshopped also http://www2.ae911truth.org/twintowers.php you make the decision. Of course heat did weaken, bend and distort steel beams and maybe caused a partial collapse. But how does that explain the mounds of molten steel that is so clearly visible in vast amounts of photos of the ruins from the twin towers? It is really hard to ignore the elephant in the room. Anyone out there that has had the years of experience of working high rise construction like I have? How many of you have used a cutting torch or an arc welder and have a feel for what kind of heat it takes to cut and melt steel. Talk to a real steel worker and not a paper pushing know it all that has never had his hands dirty if you want real answers. If you want a cover up, talk to a government bureaucrat that is an "expert". This whole thing stinks to high heaven. As far as I can research there has never been a structural steel building in history that has collapsed because of fire. And now we have 3 that fall at the same place and the same day? No way no how. That elephant just keep getting bigger and bigger, when will everyone see it?


It is a great idea.

Unfortunately, it stems from a premise that people want to know, and at this point, some people refuse to know. The evidence is overwhelming. I have given up nearly all talk of 9-11, I focus on 9-12. We ALL WATCHED A CRIME IN PROGRESS - for days.
Who can press charges? That is what I want to know. We have a case, we have an eyewitness in every American who owned a TV, because you could not watch anything else, could you? How do we get these bastards arrested? Start with ANY WORKER who was there that day, and start finding out who ordered them to clean up. Work out way up the food chain until people start acting sketchy, and then start cuffing them.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

Some people do refuse to know

I showed a portion of the Ed Asner video to a good friend with out telling him what we were watching. I paused the vid at the collapse of TC7, then asked him what he think caused the collapse. He said there is no doubt, that it was a controlled demolition and then went on to explain what a controlled demolition is and how it's done (my bad?). I let the vid play through, as he realized it was about 9/11, he actually got belligerent with me and refused to even discuss it further.

I have seen this psychological reaction with people regarding anything 9/11 related, its like a mass hypnosis, just bizarre.

Self preservation

If your friend admitted to himself that the official story my be false then it opens a mental chain reaction that is very hard for the individuals to deal with. Everything comes into question. People have trouble changing "beliefs". Have a discussion about evolution with a strict religious creationist or vice-versa - you seldom end up with a rational discussion.

It's self preservation. There are psychologists who have studied this common human trait.

"One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas" Victor Hugo