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V 1.43
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fair use notice

Background Attack Aftermath Evidence Misinformation Analysis Memorial

NIST's Simulations

NIST Avoids Modeling the Twin Towers' Collapse

One might think that the unprecedented way in which the Twin Towers exploded into dust might warrant the creation of some computer models to better understand this behavior. FEMA's investigation appeared to be timed to coincide with the site cleanup. With the rapid pace of operations there wasn't time for any computer models.

With much more time and money on its hands, NIST churned out simulation after simulation. A page on its website lists the following simulations created by this public agency to study the World Trade Center catastrophe.

  1. Comparison of two computer simulations of the fire behavior in the upper stories of the WTC North Tower (1 WTC) based on different internal conditions and fuel distribution. The left simulation shows very large flames extending from the exterior damage holes with the right showing few flames extending out. The simulation on the right seems to agree more with pictorial records:
    http://realex.nist.gov/WTCanimation1.ram

  2. Simulation of the WTC South Tower (2 WTC) fireball seconds after impact of the plane:
    http://realex.nist.gov/WTCanimation2.ram

  3. A computer simulation showing the smoke plume generated by the fire in the WTC North Tower (1 WTC).
    http://realex.nist.gov/WTCanimation3.ram

  4. A computer simulation showing the combining of the smoke plumes generated from the fires in the upper stories of WTC North and South Towers (1 WTC and 2 WTC):
    http://realex.nist.gov/WTCanimation4.ram

  5. Computer simulation showing the impact of a Boeing 767 aircraft engine into an exterior wall panel and two core columns of a WTC tower.
    http://realex.nist.gov:8080/ramgen/WTC_engine1.rm

  6. Computer simulation showing the impact of a Boeing 767 aircraft engine into an exterior wall panel, floor system and core columns of a WTC tower.
    http://realex.nist.gov:8080/ramgen/WTC_engine2.rm

  7. Computer simulation (containing 90,000 elements) showing the response of the WTC North Tower to wind loads.
    http://realex.nist.gov:8080/ramgen/WTC_windloads.rm

  8. Computer simulation showing some of the progression of the fires on the 97th floor of the WTC North Tower.
    http://realex.nist.gov:8080/ramgen/WTC_fireon97th.rm

  9. Computer simulation (containing 40,000 elements) showing the response of the 96th floor of the WTC North Tower to gravity loads.
    http://realex.nist.gov:8080/ramgen/WTC_gavityloads.rm

  10. Computer simulation showing the response to gravity and elevated temperatures of a strip of floor (including floor trusses and concrete slab) connected to an exterior column of a WTC tower.
    http://realex.nist.gov:8080/ramgen/WTC_stripresponse.rm

These simulations are all about minutiae of fires and smoke plumes, with nothing about the physics of the collapses. With tens of millions of dollars at its disposal, NIST couldn't spend a few thousand dollars to study progressive collapse, the newfound phenomenon that accounted for the total destruction of all three skyscrapers, WTC 1, 2, and 7.

Unlike NIST, independent researchers have created models of the Twin Towers' destruction.


page last modified: 2006-11-05