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The central argument behind this conspiracy theory is the unlikelihood of a symmetric collapse absent well-placed, simultaneously exploding demolition charges. No sensible person would make this argument if the collapse were strikingly asymmetric.

In fact, however, if you look at the video of the first collapse, it is grossly asymmetric: As seen in this video, the chunk of the building above the fire rotates counter-clockwise as it falls, turning by about 20 degrees before it disappears into the smoke. No careful demolition was needed to produce such a sloppy result.

Now notice that it falls essentially straight down -- if you watch the base of the chunk you'll see that it moves about as far to the right as the top moves to the left. It's turning around its center, not toppling to one side from its base. Why is this? Because there is nothing pushing it strongly to one side or the other. The pillars on the right that lasted a bit longer were pushing up; this gave the chunk some angular momentum, but not much of the linear momentum needed to move it's center of gravity to one side.

After that, the falling chunk of the building smashes the lower parts straight down. Again, there is nothing to push stuff to one side or the other, so the overall collapse is nearly symmetric.

This is enough to show that the good professor isn't a very good physicist, or even a very good observer of videos of the event that he has labored to understand. Accordingly, I wouldn't place much stock in the rest of what he says, either in the alleged facts or in the analysis. Save this piece of tin foil for lining pans.

-One in a series of technical notes on political issues by Technopolitical-

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Sun Nov 13th, 2005 at 12:20:39 AM EST
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