Has nanothermite been oversold
to the 9/11 Truth community?
HOW INDEED CAN NANOTHERMITE BE EXPLOSIVE?
The three paragraphs below are from an introduction to a study done by Mark Hightower (see link below).
Has nanothermite been oversold to the 9/11 Truth community?
Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth are heavily promoting the theory that "explosive nanothermite" was used to bring down the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001, and that microscopic chips of a fused compound containing unignited nanothermite were found in the World Trade Center dust. This discovery is now considered a "smoking gun" by most members of the 9/11 Truth community, even though a good many serious researchers and 9/11 activists remain unconvinced.
Let's take a look at what is supposed to be the current best evidence in the controlled-demolition theory of the World Trade Center's tallest buildings. Steven Jones, a physicist who joined the 9/11 Truth movement from Brigham Young University during 2005, introduced the theory that thermite/thermate played a role in the destruction of the towers; and in 2007, he refined this theory to propose that nanothermite or "superthermite" — a finely granulated form of thermite — was in fact the substance used, and its high reactivity served to pulverize the steel, concrete and many additional tons of skyscraper material, including the buildings' contents.
In an effort to confirm the claims being made about thermite and nanothermite, T. Mark Hightower, a chemical engineer from both the space program and chemical industry, decided to investigate its use as an explosive. In addition to doing his own study, he has repeatedly written to leading 9/11 researchers who champion the use of nanothermite as the principal (if not exclusive) mechanism for bringing about the destruction of the Twin Towers, probing them on the explosive capabilities of nanothermite. The replies he has received suggest that this is an issue they are unwilling to examine fully and openly.
The remainder of this introduction can be read in this PDF file:
nano_complete_paper_final110501.pdf (143 KB)
Mark Hightower's report begins as follows:
HOW INDEED CAN NANOTHERMITE BE EXPLOSIVE?
THE NANOTHERMITE CHALLENGE
This paper explores the explosiveness of nanothermite.
Steven E. Jones made the error early in his research, of classifying nanothermite as an explosive in the same category as the high explosive RDX, with no published science to back up his claim. The 911 truth movement has never recovered from this error, for to this day nearly everyone in the movement refers to "explosive nanothermite" ...
Examples of Jones confusing these issues are cited and commented upon. Two technical papers on nanothermite are cited to support my contention that nanothermite is not anywhere near being an explosive in the sense of a high explosive like RDX. These two papers are also cited on the issue of adding organics to nanothermites to produce gas generating nano-thermites (GGNT) and I maintain that these papers suggest that the only way to make a nanothermite truly explosive is to combine it with an explosive or other high-explosive mechanism. "It's not the 'nano' that makes it explosive. It's the explosive that makes it explosive."
Finally, I make recommendations of what those who advocate the nanothermite theory for WTC destruction can do to clarify their position, and I announce The Nanothermite Challenge.
The rest of this paper can be read in this PDF file: nano_complete_paper_final110501.pdf (143 KB)
The Nanothermite Challenge, put forward by Mark Hightower, was:
Find and document peer reviewed scientific research that demonstrates that a gas generating nanothermite (GGNT) based upon iron (III) oxide (Fe2O3) and aluminum (Al), where the gas generating chemical added to the nanothermite is not itself a high explosive, can be made to be a high explosive with at least a detonation velocity of 2000 m/s. The author of this paper will donate $100 for every 1000 m/s of detonation velocity that can be documented, the donation not to exceed $1,000.
On June 21 Mark Hightower wrote: "The deadline of June 20 for The Nanothermite Challenge passed with not even one entry."
Is it the case then, that the hypothesis that nanothermite is an explosive (of sufficient power to explain the demolition of the Twin Towers) is not defensible? In that case, what other candidates remain? Perhaps small, Pentagon-perfected, thermonuclear devices (a.k.a. mini H-bombs)?
Mark Hightower has suggested that in addition to Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth we need an Architects & Engineers for Nanothermite Truth. See also his High Explosive Nanothermite — More Bark Than Bite? (1,191 KB PDF file, Presentation for Jim Fetzer's show, The Real Deal, July 6, 2011).
A copy of the Serendipity website is available on CD-ROM. Details here.
Writings of a Finnish Military Expert on 9/11 The US Government's Usage of Atomic Bombs — Domestic — WTC Serendipity Home Page