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Tags 9/11 conspiracy theories , debate , jay howard , nanothermite , Niels Harrit , Oystein , paint chips

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Old 28th February 2015, 01:17 AM   #1
Oystein
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A debate about Harrit et al between Jay Howard and Oystein

In another thread, Jay Howard brought up the 2009 Harrit et al "nanothermite" paper (Harrit NH et al: Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe. The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, 2, 7-31) in several posts, which I considered off-topic there.

Someone suggested a dedicated debate thread between Jay Howard and myself, which Jay indicated he'd be "all for".

So this is the "dedicated thread". I suggest that we try to focus quite strictly on the Harrit paper, augmented by additional studies done on red-gray chips, and I would kindly ask you all to reign in your fingers and let Jay and me have the floor. Perhaps, of you want to throw in your opinions and arguments, you try to do so in one of the existing threads about the topic.

I realize that I can't demand and enforce such restraint, and won't ask you again after this opening post.

I now invite Jay Howard to open the debate. Perhaps by repeating some of the claims he made in the other thread. I suggest we first try to find where we have common ground. Some things I agree with right out of the box:
Originally Posted by jay howard View Post
Here is a list of facts that are not in dispute (as far as I know):
  • Red-gray chips found in WTC dust
  • Red portion composed of relatively uniform 100 nm iron oxide particles
  • Ignition occurs at about 430C
  • No ELEMENTAL IRON in red-gray chips BEFORE IGNITION
  • Elemental iron found AFTER IGNITION
  • Red-gray chips found in WTC dust - AGREED
  • Red portion composed of relatively uniform 100 nm iron oxide particles - AGREED
  • Ignition occurs at about 430C - AGREED
  • No ELEMENTAL IRON in red-gray chips BEFORE IGNITION - UNPROVEN
  • Elemental iron found AFTER IGNITION - AMBIGUOUS
The latter two I would not agree with without qualifications:
a) I don't see any data that indicates elemental Fe has been searched for, or that none was found. So I tend to disagree with this
b) The quantification of EDX-data is tricky. I'd agree to some reduced iron oxide (FeO or Fe3O4 instead of Fe2O3), and the possibility of traces of elemental Fe. The bigger problem however is that Harrit et al have failed to quantify the amount of reduced Fe after reaction. Basically, the bulk of Fe should be elemental. Claim is not made out.
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Old 1st March 2015, 06:44 AM   #2
Oystein
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While waiting for Jay to post here and address me, some links for everyone's convenience:

Figures from the Harrit paper in my Photobucket library. Hotlinking allowed and encouraged. (Browse other albums on the left side menu for more studies: MarkBasilePresentation, StevenJonesPresentation1, Millette)
Useful links for "Thermite" debate in my blog (please let me know if you find broken links. If you have good links that should be included in the list, let me know!)
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Old 1st March 2015, 05:47 PM   #3
jay howard
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Post

Yes, I'm in. I appreciate the opportunity for a dedicated debate. And this style of "petitioning the principle" is a good way to have this kind of discussion. We both hold premises that the other doesn't agree with, so this is the right approach.

I take the position that the red-gray chips are a high-tech thermal bridge material whose ignition by-product accounts for the existence of the one of the original forensic anomalies in the WTC dust: the iron-based microspheres.

But of course, before we get there, let's take your suggestion.

Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
I suggest we first try to find where we have common ground. Some things I agree with right out of the box:

  • Red-gray chips found in WTC dust - AGREED
  • Red portion composed of relatively uniform 100 nm iron oxide particles - AGREED
  • Ignition occurs at about 430C - AGREED
  • No ELEMENTAL IRON in red-gray chips BEFORE IGNITION - UNPROVEN
  • Elemental iron found AFTER IGNITION - AMBIGUOUS
The latter two I would not agree with without qualifications:
a) I don't see any data that indicates elemental Fe has been searched for, or that none was found. So I tend to disagree with this
b) The quantification of EDX-data is tricky. I'd agree to some reduced iron oxide (FeO or Fe3O4 instead of Fe2O3), and the possibility of traces of elemental Fe. The bigger problem however is that Harrit et al have failed to quantify the amount of reduced Fe after reaction. Basically, the bulk of Fe should be elemental. Claim is not made out.
To be fair, it's not impossible that there was elemental Fe in the chips before ignition. Not impossible, but not likely given all the analyses done. At this point, in fact, it's a really far shot from probable. It would be like saying "JFK might've died from brain cancer." Not technically out of the realm of possibility, but far from probable. So unlikely, it's not really even a question.

No one ever asks if JFK died of brain cancer just "playing devil's advocate." We know he didn't. There is no "lingering doubt" about it. The issue is settled because it was never an issue to begin with.

By the same token, there is ZERO reason to suspect elemental iron in the red-gray chips before ignition. If there was, we would have heard a word about it. A single word. To this point, the only debate about the iron oxide has been about particle size--(some apologists for the OCT claiming the uniform 100 nm Fe2O3 are pigment particles).

We are using scientific theorizing to put together the best explanation with all the given evidence. Using a scientific theory properly is not like arguing a legal point. Alternative hypotheses (i.e., playing Devil's advocate), are useful when trying to distinguish between two or more relative probabilities. A lawyer tries to get at least one person on the jury to have doubt about his client. The scientist doesn't give a phuck about the "unlikely, but possible". He chases the "Most likely given all evidence".

There are two very provocative reasons why the existence of elemental iron points squarely towards the red-gray chips as the "loaded gun" in this case:

1. burning the chips produces elemental iron microspheres
2. the WTC dust has tonnes of chemically similar iron-based microspheres in it that have also been formed by a high-temperature reaction.

This material appears to be a high-tech explosive, made from a "bottom-up" approach in a lab capable of such manufacturing. I couldn't say much about it's final application or whether it was the only kind of explosive/incendiary tech involved or not, but to turn one's back on the evidence at this point is to hide one's head in the sand and wish we lived in a different world.

It's worth noting that if we had this level of evidence about some building in say, Chechnya, there wouldn't even be a debate about the involvement of high-level officials in an unofficial capacity. We would all pretty much agree that the evidence of high-level ****ery is afoot, and shrug our shoulders. Only the politically naive believe unaccounted appendages of the war machine don't participate in those types of activities.

It is only when we turn the lens upon ourselves that we either refuse to see it, or see some good behind perpetuating a false history.

Also worth noting, I do indeed believe the buildings were hit by hijacked commercial liners by radical islamists.

Also, to be clear, this is the paper title and authors:

“Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe” by Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley and Bradley R. Larsen"

And from the abstract:

Quote:
"Separation of components using methyl ethyl ketone demonstrated
that elemental aluminum is present. The iron oxide and aluminum are
intimately mixed in the red material. When ignited in a DSC device
the chips exhibit large but narrow exotherms occurring at approximately
430 0C, far below the normal ignition temperature for conventional
thermite. Numerous iron-rich spheres are clearly observed in the
residue following the ignition of these peculiar red/gray chips.
The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic
material and highly energetic."
I realize there's a tonne of premises you don't buy, and vice versa, but that's why we are laying our reasoning out for everyone to see. At any rate, I do appreciate you having this discussion.

Casting doubt is useful. We should be aware of the potential holes in our theories. But some tend to use doubt as a cudgel, an attempt to cast the issue as "not settled", not as a tool for clarity. If you believe positively that there was elemental Fe in the pre-ignited chips, please show it. Likewise with those who believe JFK might've died of brain cancer.
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Old 2nd March 2015, 04:54 PM   #4
Oystein
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Originally Posted by jay howard View Post
We both hold premises that the other doesn't agree with, so this is the right approach.
We need to be careful what to consider a "premise" vs. what is actually, or should be, a conclusion.

I like to find as many points of agreement as possible. Reason: If we agree on something, we can take that as a starting point and don't have to worry whether it's a true premise or an intermediate conclusion.

So let me first go through your post searching for things I agree with, then suggest a few things that I hope you agree with quickly. And only then look at things where we already disagree.


Statements I AGREE with

Originally Posted by jay howard View Post
2. the WTC dust has tonnes of chemically similar iron-based microspheres in it that have also been formed by a high-temperature reaction.
Yes, true.
"Iron-based" means that iron is the dominant element in such spheres. even though they always also contain oxygen, usually contain silicon, and often other mineral-forming metals such as Al, Ca, K; and traces of other elements.
This is no surprise: O, Si, Fe, Al, Ca and K are the commonest elements in mineral dust - all of them are ubiquitous.
RJ Lee wrote that iron-based microspheres are expected in dust after a "high temperature event" such as the WTC catastrophe - and RJ Lee was definitely NOT thinking about "exotic" incendiaries - they were thinking about the obvious and large office fires.
The McCrone Group "is internationally recognized as a world leader in microscopy, microanalysis, materials characterization, and the solving of tough materials problems. Today, The McCrone Group, Inc. is regarded as "The Premier Microscopy Resource"". The McCrone Atlas of Microscopic Particles has been a standard reference for visible light and electron microscopists since the early 1970s. I have a copy of one volume of this atlas (an actual book!) from that time in my possession. It shows several examples of iron-rich microspheres from different industrial and urban environments. Such spheres are formed in incinerators, power plants, steel manufacturing, and traffic (combustion engines). They do indeed form in "high-temperature reactions" - but lots of those!

Iron-based microspheres are all around you. Always. You find them in your campfire ash, in light-weight concrete, on the roof of your house, and in many a mechanical and electrical workshop. They are produced en mass when steel is welded. soldered, cut or crashed. They are found when meteorites fall from the sky.

And yes, they also may form from thermite reactions. But only if thermite is in fact present. Finding iron-based microspheres is not proof of a thermite reaction any more than it is proof of a meteor impact.

Originally Posted by jay howard View Post
Also worth noting, I do indeed believe the buildings were hit by hijacked commercial liners by radical islamists.
I am glad you say this, and I agree, even though it is difficult from our vantage point to verify that the hijackers were radical islamists. No need to dig into this - one thing that I like about the red-gray-chips debate is that it can be completely decoupled from all the other events that took place on 9/11:
- It is (in principle) possible that the towers were brought down by CD, even with the help of thermite, even when it turns out that the chips are really just paint and have nothing to do with the CD job.
- It is also (in principle) possible that the towers fell as a result of fires started by plane crashes even if it turns out that the chips are some sort of high-tech, military nano-thermite formulation; it could be mere coincidence that this matrerial was present, and it did not contribute to the collapses.

In the part of the abstract that you quote, I agree with this claim:
Originally Posted by jay howard View Post
When ignited in a DSC device
the chips exhibit large but narrow exotherms occurring at approximately
430 0C, far below the normal ignition temperature for conventional
thermite.
I note though that "large" and "narrow" are subjective terms. Large and narrow compared to what?
I also could nitpick and point out that the peak temperature is higher than ignition temperature - it is a bit of an art to pinpoint events like "ignition" when curves have smooth slopes. But the point they want to make is correct: The red materials react mostly around 430 °C, +/- a few tens of degrees.


New claims I hope you will agree with

1. The four dust samples that the Harrit-team studied did in fact originate from the collapse of the WTC buildings. (Some debunkers like to cast doubt on the chain of custody, and it indeed isn't perfect; but I am convinced that the samples are genuine. Evidence sufficient for me lies in the fact that chips a-d, taken from samples 1-4, are so very similar, and can be matched to material from WTC1+2)

2. The red-gray chips look like they could be paint. (Harrit et al. themselves point this out, and they go to some length in the paper to convince the reader that the chips are not paint. So evidently they thought they look like paint)

3. Harrit define exactly two (2) criteria (neither more nor less) to select specimens from the dust samples to be included in the study:
i) They are attracted to a permanent magnet
ii) They have the outward appearance of "chips" that have at least one gray layer and one red layer

4. Throughout the paper, Harrit et al assume that all specimens selected using the defined selection criteria are essentially the same material (or else results from different experiments run on different specimens could not be combined to form a conclusion on both; think apples and oranges)

5. The gray layer of all specimens is mostly (>>90%) iron and oxygen, and most likely some iron oxide(s). (It may contains traces of carbon; possibly a tiny bit of manganese as evidenced by a small signal near 5.9 keV in Figure 6a, b and d, but that isn't labeled). In particular, no evidence of any significant Al at all in the gray layer

6. Therefore, the gray layer is most likely inert (does not contribute significantly to the exotherm in the DSC experiment, as the paper itself points out)

7. Therefore, (almost) all of the exotherm - the energy release and power - comes from a reaction(s) of the red layer

8. The red layer is some organic (hydrocarbon) polymer, which has smaller particles embedded in it

9. The gray layer is denser (higher weight per volume) than the red layer (two reasons: i) It appears brighter in BSE images, and brightness in BSE imaging scales with average atomic weight/density; ii) all iron oxides are denser than all suitable organic polymers)

10. The red layer of all chip specimens contains particles of ferric oxide (iron oxide, Fe2O3) that are about 100 nm in all dimensions

11. These 100 nm iron oxide particles are the reason that the red layer is red

12. After chips habe burned, there is still a significant amount of red material (see Figures 20, 23, 26)

13. The most parsimonious explanation for the red color after burning is that a significant amount of the 100 nm iron oxide particles are still there (have not reacted)

14. Much of the organic polymer reacts when the chips are burned (decompose/char and/or burn on ambient air)

15. Since the gray layer is considered to be inert, it (the iron oxide it consists of) is still there after the chip burned

16. The relevant thermite reaction that Harrit et al are talking about is: Fe2O3 + 2 Al -> 2 Fe + Al2O3 (and not, for example some reaction with a metal other than Al, or a metal oxide other than iron oxide. I will allow that we talk about some thermitic reaction that involves silicon or silicon oxide, as a contributing reaction, as Si is clearly present, but we cannot talk about, say, copper or molybdenum, as those are not in evidence in the chips that Harrit et al present)

17. For a material to be called "thermitic", we should expect that the thermite reaction is the "dominating" reaction; it ought to provide a "very significant" percentage of the exotherm/heat/power that is observed. (We can argue where "very significant" begins, but I'd suggest that if the thermite reaction contribution less than 10% of the total observed energy release with >90% coming from something else, we should not call that material "thermitic")

18. For a significant thermite reaction to occur, a corresponding significant quantity of (elemental) Al must be present beforehand

19. When a significant thermite reaction has occured, then a significant quantity of aluminium oxide has been produced

20. Harrit et al do not quantify the Al-content

21. Harrit et al report no Al oxide

22. Harrit et al make no claim that the red-gray chips "explode" or are "explosive"

23. Harrit et al make no claim about what the Si is before any reaction (is it elemental, an oxide, a silicate...?), and what happens to the Si/Si-compounds during the reaction

24. There is no indication that any of the chips a-d (those presented in Figures 2-11) have been tested in the DSC or otherwise burned (these four chips were selected from each of the four dust samples 1-4, while of the four specimens tested in DSC and presented in Fig 19, two came from sample 1, and none from sample 3)

25. It is highly unlikely that the MEK-soaked chip (Figures 12-18) has been tested in the DSC or otherwise burned (MEK is a flammable liquid; burning a specimen that has been soaked in a flammable liquid would be quite pointless)

26. The four EDS-spectra in Figure 6 of the four specimens a-d are very similar

27. The four EDS-spectra in Figure 7 of the four specimens a-d are very similar

28. The BSE micrographs in Figure 8 of the four specimens a-d are very similar (they each show two different kinds of particles embedded in the red layer: the aforementioned 100 nm iron oxide grains, and thin platelets that tend to be hexagonal in shape, and sometimes stack)

29. I therefore assume that the four specimens a-d are indeed the exact same material

30. Harrit et al present no EDS-spectrum for the gray layer of the MEK-chip that we could compare to Fig. 6

31. The EDS-spectrum for the red layer of the MEK-chip (Fig. 14) is quite different from Fig. 7 in several ways (less Al relative to Si; lots of Ca, much S, significant signals for Mg and Zn, some Cr)

32. Harrit et al present no BSE-micrograph for the red layer of the MEK-chip that we could compare to Fig. 8 to see if it has the same two kinds of particles embedded

33. It is thus quite possible that the MEK-chip is a material somewhat different from chips a-d

34. Harrit et al mention several more chips that are in some ways different from chips a-d as well as the MEK-soaked chip:
i) Fig 25 shows residue of a chip that has significant Ti, an element not present in chips a-d or the MEK-chip
ii) On page 28, they say they found "some chips have additional elements such as ... barium and copper", two elements that are not present in chips a-d, the MEK-chip or the residue in Fig. 25
iii) The multilayered chip (Fig. 31) is different from all chips mentioned so far in that it has multiple layers and "significant Pb along with C, O, Fe, and Al" (copper and barium not mentioned)
iv) Finally, Fig. 33 shows a gray layer that is not made of iron oxide but of carbon

35. We must presume that all the chips described in 34. have been selected by Harrit et al from WTC dust using the same two selection criteria layed out in 3.: Magnetic attraction + visual identification as "red-gray chip"

36. It follows that the selection method that Harrit et al actually used can and does yield chips that have chemically different compositions. This refutes 4.


Wow. That's a long list of claims that I believe you can agree with.
I urge you to look at them carefully and not accept them too quickly! If you feel some claim is not well supported, do ask me to provide better support (I tried to keep it brief, but can explain each one in more detail, if needed).
Do nitpick if you see things that can be nitpicked! I want to get the claims that we agree on as precise as possible!


It's already after midnight now, I've been sitting at this post for 2 or 3 hours.
I have yet to address all the points in your post that I do NOT AGREE with, and I promise I am not dodging! I'll address them as soon as I can!


Just one comment, it's about scientific epistemology. You write:
"We are using scientific theorizing to put together the best explanation with all the given evidence. ... The scientist doesn't give a phuck about the "unlikely, but possible". He chases the "Most likely given all evidence".
I disagree that this is proper scientific method. Allow me to quote (with my approval) Wikipedia's explanation of Karl Popper's opposition to Logical positivism:
"Popper held that it is the least likely, or most easily falsifiable, or simplest theory (attributes which he identified as all the same thing) that explains known facts that one should rationally prefer. His opposition to positivism, which held that it is the theory most likely to be true that one should prefer, here becomes very apparent. It is impossible, Popper argues, to ensure a theory to be true; it is more important that its falsity can be detected as easily as possible."
(My bolding)
In "Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach" (1972), Popper argues in a thought experiment that one could enumerate infinitely many theories on any subject, each of them infinitely improbable, and yet one the improbable theories is the "true" one. He concludes that the "probability" of a theory being "true" is a useless concept.

Therefore, what I am looking for is not the "most likely" theory but the theory that explains most of the empirical facts; with preference given to simple (parsimonous) theories.

And I can tell you exactly which theory explains, in my opinion, the chips the best:
The different kinds of red-gray chips are different kinds of red paints - mostly primer on steel flakes. We can identify the two main chip kinds as the two known WTC steel primers.
But we'll get there later.

Good night for now.
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Old 4th March 2015, 02:18 PM   #5
jay howard
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post

Statements I AGREE with

Yes, true. "Iron-based" means that iron is the dominant element in such spheres. even though they always also contain oxygen, usually contain silicon, and often other mineral-forming metals such as Al, Ca, K; and traces of other elements.

It is important to clarify that the iron in these iron-based spheres is unbound. There may be some iron oxide in the spheres, but these are predominantly elemental iron with other compounds and elements. I don’t think you’ll take issue with this, but, for clarity. And I see nothing to take issue with in your characterization of the spheres.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
This is no
surprise: O, Si, Fe, Al, Ca and K are the
commonest elements in mineral dust - all of
them are ubiquitous.
RJ Lee wrote that iron-based microspheres are
expected in dust after a "high temperature
event" such as the WTC catastrophe - and RJ
Lee was definitely NOT thinking about "exotic"
incendiaries - they were thinking about the
obvious and large office fires.

Yes, the RJ Lee qualification is that these wouldn’t be out of the ordinary after a “high-temperature event.” The UL office burn tests clearly show that the hottest they could get the fire for the longest, (or the greatest achievable energy release rate) was about 1100C for about 10 min. They said it didn’t matter what arrangement of “surrogate” material they used, i.e., hydrocarbons—plastic, paper, wood and accelerant, 1100C for 10 minutes was the hottest and longest they could get the temps. (I’d be happy to link the NCSTAR document, but don’t have it handy. This isn’t controversial, though. At least not from the perspective of “official fuel sources” available.)

Is this what RJ Lee meant by “high-temperature event”? I’ve seen the
demonstrations of steel wool being burned by a lighter and producing microspheres, and that’s all well and good, but to hypothesize that that’s what accounts for the massive amount of microspheres when there is a much more plausible (though psychologically difficult) explanation is to again, treat this debate like a legal argument, not a scientific one.

Scientifically, steel wool does not cut the muster as an alternative hypothesis. Where did the sheer volume of iron filament come from?
We have in our mutual possession very good evidence as to the source of the iron-based microspheres: the red/gray chips. In terms of
explanatory power, the red-gray chips are the lynch pin of all the anomalous data. They make sense of the microspheres, the molten metal, the molten concrete, the missing core structure, the other sets of high-temp “anomalies,” as well as the apparent lack of resistance as the buildings fell.

To propose “steel wool” or some such process to account for the microspheres whilst pulling the carpet out from under the explanation of all the other data is poor scientific theory construction.)

If the purpose was to dissuade a single juror to convict someone of murder, this would be the right approach, because there exists a strange, improbable, unlikely but not impossible mechanism that does indeed produce metal microspheres. But that's not the appropriate way to think about what happened. We are looking for an explanation that makes sense for as much of the evidence as we have. Not a reason to dismiss an encompassing explanation in favor of a low-probability, outlier hypothesis that has nothing to do with answering the question of how the towers fell.

Also, steel wool is steel, not iron. At any rate, it’s not the best contender explanation by a long shot. We have a very good explanation that just happens to be difficult to digest.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
The
McCrone
Group
"is internationally recognized
as a world leader in microscopy, microanalysis,
materials characterization, and the solving of
tough materials problems. Today, The McCrone
Group, Inc. is regarded as "The Premier
Microscopy Resource"
". The McCrone Atlas of
Microscopic Particles
has been a
standard reference for visible light and electron
microscopists since the early 1970s. I have a
copy of one volume of this atlas (an actual
book!) from that time in my possession. It
shows several examples of iron-rich
microspheres from different industrial and
urban environments. Such spheres are formed
in incinerators, power plants, steel
manufacturing, and traffic (combustion
engines). They do indeed form in "hightemperature
reactions" - but lots of those!
Iron-based microspheres are all around you.
Always. You find them in your campfire ash, in
light-weight concrete, on the roof of your
house, and in many a mechanical and electrical
workshop. They are produced en mass when
steel is welded. soldered, cut or crashed. They
are found when meteorites fall from the sky.
And yes, they also may form from thermite
reactions. But only if thermite is in fact
present. Finding iron-based microspheres is
not proof of a thermite reaction any more than
it is proof of a meteor impact.
So you’re willing to throw out a very strong explanation of all the anomalous high-temperature evidence for what? Because the implications make you uncomfortable?

If the only evidence we had was the microspheres, then you would have a good point. If you say a meteor has as much explanatory power as a high-tech thermitic material, you aren’t being honest about this discussion or you misunderstand how this process works. At first, the question was:

”What caused the iron-based microspheres?”

Jones proposed a thermitic reaction but he didn’t have much to go on except the other sets evidence of high-temperature reactions. At that point, other explanations may have carried as much explanatory power. So if we ask:

“Are these microspheres related to the other high-temperature phenomena?”

Your approach says “nope”. Your approach says the microspheres are possibly the result of several sets of low-temperature reactions for which we have no direct evidence. (No one has discovered a partially-burned pack of steel wool or any other such evidence of these low-temp reactions.)

And why do you hold this position, against the evidence? You have no real reason other than it’s possible to produce microspheres from steel wool at low temps. Not because there was a steel wool factory in the WTC or that we have spectroscopic evidence for similar etiologies of these microspheres. All you have is pure, ad hoc speculation based on nothing. And you turn your head away from detailed evidence which handily explains all kinds of phenomena the OCT must call “anomalous.”

Normally, when someone proposes some armchair hypothesis about how it’s “possible” to achieve this or that, and they have zero evidence for it, the “Skeptic” will throw it in the bloody bin and wash his hands of it. Yet, the evidenceless position is your preferred position. (I don’t really think this can be called a “skeptical position” by any definition, fwiw.) And yet, here it is, championed by a group claiming to be exactly that.

Your approach requires several sets of low-probability events to avoid coming to the conclusion that hijacked planes were not the only extra energy source in those buildings that day. Great lawyering. Poor science.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
I am glad you say this, and I agree, even
though it is difficult from our vantage point to
verify that the hijackers were radical islamists.
No need to dig into this - one thing that I like
about the red-gray-chips debate is that it can
be completely decoupled from all the other
events that took place on 9/11:
- It is (in principle) possible that the towers
were brought down by CD, even with the help
of thermite, even when it turns out that the
chips are really just paint and have nothing to
do with the CD job.
- It is also (in principle) possible that the
towers fell as a result of fires started by plane
crashes even if it turns out that the chips are
some sort of high-tech, military nano-thermite
formulation; it could be mere coincidence that
this matrerial was present, and it did not
contribute to the collapses.
In the part of the abstract that you quote, I
agree with this claim:
I note though that "large" and "narrow" are
subjective terms. Large and narrow compared
to what?
Why doesn’t the comparison to a known thermitic xerogel count as a reference point for “large” and “narrow” exotherm peaks of the red chips? It seems like the most appropriate baseline of the material. Compared to that, the red chips are indeed more explosive—they express a sharper spike in the DSC, indicating a higher energy release rate than a known “superthermite”. That simply cannot be accounted for by the hydrocarbons in paint. If paint was more explosive than a known, highly-engineered xerogel, that paint company CEO would be locked up for life.

And if you claim the counter to this without a shred of evidence, then this is no longer a scientific discussion.

Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
I also could nitpick and point out that the peak
temperature is higher than ignition
temperature - it is a bit of an art to pinpoint
events like "ignition" when curves have smooth
slopes. But the point they want to make is
correct: The red materials react mostly around
430 °C, +/- a few tens of degrees.
Yes, that’s the ignition temp for the red stuff, but that curve was anything but smooth. And the peak is indeed higher (much, much higher) than the ignition temp. Not sure what your point is here.

At any rate, the decision to ignore the most powerful explanation of the totality of anomalous evidence and instead search for multiple, low-probability hypotheses to account for the various sets of unexplained phenomena makes no sense from a scientific approach.

This is the structure of your approach:

1. Microspheres: the result of all kinds of low-temperature reactions of filament-sized iron for which there is no direct evidence. Not related to anything else that happened that day except the exposure of a large supply of thin metal to hydrocarbon fires.

2. Molten metal: it’s all aluminium (or alternatively, there wasn’t any molten metal)—for which there are many accounts by people and photographic/video evidence.

3. Molten concrete: it didn’t happen.

4. The WPI steel: the eutectic happened in the debris pile, despite the inability to repeat the outcome (or even propose a mechanism of action besides random chance and an appeal to ignorance). Also, where did the elemental sulfur come from?

5. Bullet balls:
Originally Posted by Vincoli, Black & Burkhammer
Final status: At great personal risk, Customs officials, the FBI and contractor representatives located and removed the criminal evidence from Building 6 during the fourth week of the effort. The ammunition was finally located on Oct. 24, 2001, melted together into large “bullet balls” that were extremely dangerous to handle and dispose of properly (Photo 12). At one point, a discharge of a bullet, due to the immense heat in the area, caused a shrapnel wound to the face of one worker.
I suppose this didn’t happen either.

6. Sustained temperatures: (in excess of 620C at the surface for several days after) were the result of office material fires started from jet fuel. Despite the lack of airflow to the underground areas in question, as well as millions of gallons of water and fire-retardant sprayed into the piles, all these temperature anomalies were the result of hydrocarbon fires.

And finally:

7. The red-gray chips: paint/primer chips. Despite the exotic ingredients, namely, 100 nm Fe2O3 with a crystalline morphology, meaning they are not the product of grinding, but of ground-up manufacturing. No attempt to do the math on how much that would make a gallon of this “paint” cost, much less any attempt to account for the rapid, low-temp oxidation of this material. Nothing to see here. Except the production of iron microspheres that match the composition and morphology of the WTC dust spheres. A complete coincidence. To me, it’s poor logic. The whole lot of these explanations.

Perhaps you disagree with my characterization of these events from your perspective. Fair enough. My point remains, each one of these pieces of evidence for high-temp reactions (and many others not mentioned) has it’s own separate, unrelated explanation, which either has a very low-probability of occurrence, or in some cases, a complete shot in the dark without any substantive evidence whatsoever.

Now, here’s the “crazy twoofer” theory:

1. The red-gray chips: tested positive for the raw ingredients of thermite. Reacts violently at relatively low temps and leaves iron microspheres as a by-product.

This material consequently explains all the other high-temp phenomena for which apologists for the OCT must dodge or dismiss. All of them. It is the grand-unified dovetail of this entire tragic mess.

Iron-based ms: by-products of massive amounts of this or similar nano-energetic composites.
Molten metal: by: “ “
Molten concrete: “ “
Sustained temps: “ “
Bullet balls: “ “
WPI steel: “ “

Let’s recap. The apologist’s explanations for various high-temp phenomena require unrelated, low-probability, and in some cases, completely unsubstantiated theories to make sense.

The twoofer position: the red-gray chips are indeed a high-tech incendiary/explosive hybrid made in a lab that produced extremely high temperatures (enough to vaporize lead and melt concrete and steel), and left iron-based microspheres as a by-product.

It explains where the core structures went, all the accounts of molten metal, the speed at which the buildings fell, WTC 7, as well as strange things like “bullet balls” and “the meteor”. And the biggest criticism isn’t the science behind these conclusions, but the premise of the theory: i.e., that forces within our government took advantage of their power and cashed in.

Murder for money. It’s just not a stretch of the imagination.
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Old 4th March 2015, 04:34 PM   #6
Oystein
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It's past midnight here, and it will take me some time to respond to this poorly thought out, poorly focused and mostly off-topic post filled with strawmen. Can't do it tonight, obviously.

I must point out however that you did not address at all the 36 enumerated claims about the red-gray chips that Harrit et al studied. Why? Does this mean you accept all 36?
If not, please list those that you disagree with, and indicate whether you agree with those that you don't list.
A short explanation for why you disagree with points would of course be very helpful. Again, if you feel I ought to support or explain any points better, say so!
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Old 4th March 2015, 05:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
It's past midnight here, and it will take me some time to respond to this poorly thought out, poorly focused and mostly off-topic post filled with strawmen. Can't do it tonight, obviously.

I must point out however that you did not address at all the 36 enumerated claims about the red-gray chips that Harrit et al studied. Why? Does this mean you accept all 36?
If not, please list those that you disagree with, and indicate whether you agree with those that you don't list.
A short explanation for why you disagree with points would of course be very helpful. Again, if you feel I ought to support or explain any points better, say so!

Fair enough. I'm working on your numbered points. Thought it best to break your post into two. There's no rush on my end. I feel none on yours.

Cheers,
jh
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Old 5th March 2015, 12:52 PM   #8
Oystein
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Originally Posted by jay howard View Post
Fair enough. I'm working on your numbered points. Thought it best to break your post into two. There's no rush on my end. I feel none on yours.

Cheers,
jh
Ah great, thanks!
I'll wait then till you have posted the second part before addressing the first. Okay?
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Old 7th March 2015, 06:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
New claims I hope you will agree with
1. The four dust samples that the Harrit team studied did in fact originate from the
collapse of the WTC buildings
. (Some debunkers like to cast doubt on the chain of custody, and it indeed isn't perfect; but I am convinced that the samples are genuine.
Evidence sufficient for me lies in the fact that chips a-d, taken from samples 1-4, are so very similar, and can be matched to material from WTC1+2)
Be still, my beating heart. Seriously, thank your for taking a step forward on this. †
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
2. The red-gray chips look like they
could be paint
. (Harrit et al. themselves point this out, and they go to some length in the paper to convince the reader that the chips are not paint. So evidently they thought they look like paint)
Agreed. Without knowing much else about them, they look like paint/primer chips.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
3. Harrit define exactly two (2) criteria (neither more nor less) to select specimens from the dust samples to be included in the study:
i) They are attracted to a permanent magnet
ii) They have the outward appearance of
"chips" that have at least one gray layer and one red layer
4. Throughout the paper, Harrit et al assume that all specimens selected using the
defined selection criteria are essentially the same material
(or else results from different experiments run on different
specimens could not be combined to form a conclusion on both; think apples and oranges)
5. The gray layer of all specimens is mostly (>>90%) iron and oxygen, and most likely
some iron oxide(s).
(It may contains traces of carbon; possibly a tiny bit of manganese as evidenced by a small signal near 5.9 keV in Figure 6a, b and d, but that isn't labeled). In particular, no evidence of any significant Al at all in the gray layer
Agreed. Your Mg interpretation is feasible. I did not take that little hump into consideration, but there does appear to be a signal, however slight, in (a) and (d), maybe (b), but so close to background that it may simply be artifactual. I don t think it bears on anything, but it s useful to talk about uncontested points as a baseline for reasonability. But as you point out, there is no Al in the grey layer.
As for the origins of the grey layer, it does appear to be some kind of ferric oxide. It may be the source of magnetism, it may not be. There was no definitive test done that I m aware of. It s hard to say much else about it, however, it certainly does not look like typical oxidation of steel. It looks like it was liquid at one point because of the fracture pattern demonstrates heterogeneity throughout. But that s pure conjecture on my part, and there s nothing hinging on that observation.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
6. Therefore, the gray layer is most likely inert (does not contribute significantly to the exotherm in the DSC experiment, as the paper itself points out)
It s possible there's an interaction going on. It s possible it's inert. If one accepts that this stuff is a high-tech metamaterial, then we are looking at the material as intentional. But there isn't enough data to say one way or the other at this time. This is a point for future study.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
7. Therefore, (almost) all of the exotherm- the energy release and power - comes from a reaction(s) of the red layer
I don't hang my hat on anything about the grey layer, only to say, it s possible that it contributes to the reaction and possible it doesn't, but for sure, the red layer is involved. Interestingly, we do not see a left over grey layer in the burnt chips. Perhaps it is an oxo-bridged polymer as the authors have speculated, (which would account for the C), that lowers (or contributes to) the reaction energies necessary for reduction. Perhaps it's just a remnant.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
8. The red layer is some organic
(hydrocarbon) polymer, which has smaller
particles embedded in it

9. The gray layer is denser (higher
weight per volume) than the red layer (two reasons: i) It appears brighter in BSE images,
and brightness in BSE imaging scales with
average atomic weight/density; ii) all iron
oxides are denser than all suitable organic polymers)
10. The red layer of all chip specimens
contains particles of ferric oxide (iron oxide, Fe2O3) that are
about 100 nm in all dimensions

11. These 100 nm iron oxide particles are the reason that the red layer is red
The only issue I take with this is that the hydrocarbon matrix may also be red without the iron oxide particles in it, however, I agree that in aggregate, the particles are red. Not an issue of real disagreement, but a note of epistemic caution.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
12. After chips have burned, there is still significant amount of red material (see Figures 20, 23, 26)
13. The most parsimonious explanation for the red color after burning is that a significant amount of the 100 nm iron oxide particles are still there (have not reacted)
I agree that combustion in these tests was not 100% in all cases. However, where there is no longer a red layer, the gray layer also appears to have receded. Also, significantly, there's molten metal on the edges of these reacted chips. How can we ignore that?
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
14. Much of the organic polymer reacts when the chips are burned (decompose/char and/or burn on ambient air)
Agreed. It's sensible to me that the hydrocarbon base would be an excellent starting point of a thermal bridge material: easy to ignite, gets hot fast, causes gas expansion, terminal temp, about 1000-1200C.

QUOTE=Oystein;10506638]15. Since the gray layer is considered to be inert, it (the iron oxide it consists of) is
still there after the chip burned
[/quote]
Not agreed. I have seen no evidence for a left-over grey layer post-ignition of a bi-layer chip. No photos, no accounts of this. I'm not claiming it reacted. It may have been mechanically dismantled, inert, an incidental substance. But it's definitely not there after ignition of the red stuff. And it remains possible it's a catalyst. I'm sure you're as curious as I am.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
16. The relevant thermite reaction that Harrit et al are talking about is: Fe[sub]2[/ SUB]O3 + 2 Al -> 2 Fe + Al2O3 (and not,
for example some reaction with a metal other than Al, or a metal oxide other than iron oxide. I will allow that we talk about some thermitic reaction that involves silicon or silicon oxide, as a contributing reaction, as Si is clearly
present, but we cannot talk about, say, copper or molybdenum, as those are not in evidence
in the chips that Harrit et al present)
I think it matters that I'm looking at this substance as a metamaterial designed with intention and you are looking at it as paint chips. There is reason to believe this compound is more complex than we are treating it. But sure, for this discussion, I have no problem with your frame.

Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
17. For a material to be called "thermitic", we should expect that the thermite reaction
is the "dominating" reaction; it ought to
provide a "very significant" percentage of the
exotherm/heat/power
that is observed.
(We can argue where "very significant" begins, but I'd suggest that if the thermite reaction contribution less than 10% of the total observed energy release with >90% coming
from something else, we should not call that material "thermitic")
I don t know what percentage the thermitic reaction contributed vs. the hydrocarbon combustion. That would require a separate set of tests, I believe.

For the time, I think it's faire to say that the hydrocarbon matrix is combusting in addition to some species of thermitic reaction as you describe above. unclear. (I say "species" because the role of the alumino-silicate plates in the reaction is unclear. We know that in addition to iron ms by-products, there are silicate microspheres as well. These spheres are also found in the WTC dust as documented by RJ Lee and the USGS.

Would you agree the silicate-based spheres are by-products of the red chips oxidizing?

Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
18. For a significant thermite reaction to occur, a corresponding significant quantity of (elemental) Al must be present beforehand
19. When a significant thermite reaction has occured, then a significant quantity of
aluminium oxide has been produced
20. Harrit et al do not quantify the Al content
21. Harrit et al report no Al oxide
True, true, true and true. As mentioned above, they did not measure the pre-ignition chips vs. post-ignition. And also, the aluminium oxide produced in a thermitic reaction is a fine particulate, which, being hotter than the ambient air, is ejected like a colloid in fluid. We would not expect to see a microsphere of AlO2.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
22. Harrit et al make no claim that the redgray chips "explode" or are "explosive"
Not true.
Originally Posted by Harrit, et. al.
"Commercially available thermite behaves as an incendiary when ignited [6], but when the ingredients are ultra-fine grain (UFG) and are intimately mixed, this nano-thermite reacts very rapidly, even explosively, and is sometimes referred to as super-thermite [20, 22]. pg 23.
This combination of (UFG) components mixed intimately is exactly how they describe the red material. In addition, the DSC comparison with the known thermitic xerogel shows that the WTC chips produce a sharper, more violent exotherm. I m not sure why you have an interest in whether the reaction is deemed explosive or not, but there should be no question as to whether this stuff is highly reactive at about 430C.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
23. Harrit et al make no claim about what the Si is before any reaction (is it elemental, an oxide, a silicate...?), and what happens to the Si/Si-compounds during the reaction
True. From the XEDS data, it appears to be an aluminosilicate, though it's possible it's something more complex. It looks like kaolinite. There remain a lot of questions about the components of this material, and the silicon plates are one. Is it possible that elemental Al is unbound in the crystal? I don t know. There s not enough data to discern. But we do know that there are silicate microspheres in the by-products.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
24. There is no indication that any of the chips a-d (those presented in Figures 2-11) have been tested in the DSC or
otherwise burned
This seems like a non-starter, or at least trivial in combination with the rest of the data. That is, even if this is correct, that they did not use the analysed samples in the DSC, we have good reason to believe in their ability to successfully identify other chips with the same properties.

Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
(these four chips were
selected from each of the four dust samples 1-4, while of the four specimens tested in DSC and presented in Fig 19, two came from
sample 1, and none from sample 3)
Actually, no chips from sample 2 (Brooklyn Bridge) were used. Two from (1) and one each from (3, 4). There s no good explanation for this that I saw. For sure, more data is better. I would like to see data for chips in all the samples. But perhaps there was a technical consideration, like the chips were too small or whatever. But if there is no disagreement about the ubiquity of the chips in the dust, I don t see this as a good enough reason to throw out the conclusions of the paper, especially considering the comparative micrographic and spectroscopic data.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
25. It is highly unlikely that the MEK-soaked chip (Figures 12-18) has been tested in the DSC or otherwise burned (MEK is a flammable liquid; burning a specimen that has been soaked in a flammable liquid would be
quite pointless)
Agreed.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
26. The four EDS-spectra in Figure 6 of the four specimens a-d are very similar 27. The four EDS-spectra in Figure 7 of the four specimens a-d are very similar 28. The BSE micrographs in Figure 8 of the four specimens a-d are very similar (they each show two different kinds of particles embedded in the red layer: the aforementioned 100 nm iron oxide grains, and thin platelets that tend to be hexagonal in shape, and sometimes stack)
29. I therefore assume that the four specimens a-d are indeed the exact same material
Agreed.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
30. Harrit et al present no EDS-spectrum for the gray layer of the MEK-chip that we could compare to Fig. 6
Agreed. But the MEK-soaked chip was from sample 2, which corresponds to XEDS spectral graph (b) on page 13. Any reason that doesn't count?
Are you suggesting that the MEK chip may be of a different substance than the other chips, and therefore the analysis of it is moot?
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
31. The EDS-spectrum for
red layer of the MEK-chip (Fig. 14) is quite different from
Fig. 7[/b] in several ways (less Al relative to Si; lots of Ca, much S, significant signals for Mg and Zn, some Cr)


X-ray spectroscopy can only analyse the top layer to fractions of a mm. But as they document, that chip face was not cleaned nor broken to reveal a clean surface. It was a baseline of the contaminants and the explanation for the Ca and S makes good sense: that its from the wallboard as CaSO4. Zinc and Chromium are no surprise. But after soaking, there's no Calcium peak whatsoever, nor any Zn or Cr. Post-thinner soak, enter Phosphrous, Sodium, Magnesium and Chlorine. The MEK appears to have exposed other components of this material. It appears to be a bit more complex than at first glance.

Interestingly, we find more spectral corroboration for that Mg peak you pointed out at the beginning. Perhaps it was not artifactual.

Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
32. Harrit et al present no BSE-micrograph for the red layer of the MEK-chip that we
could compare to Fig. 8 to see if it has the
same two kinds of particles embedded
This is true, but I wonder why this bears on anything. There is BSE imagery of the MEK chip. It's not at the same magnification as the figure 8, true. I honestly want to see comparative pictures as well, but is there a question that perhaps there are different particles than before? I suppose it's possible. What indeed, accounts for the Mg, P, Na and Cl?
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
33. It is thus quite possible that the MEKchip is a material somewhat different from
chips a-d
You are adding unnecessary complication to this. If you think they had the wrong chip to begin with, then you are inserting a third substance: it would be similar enough to the red-grey chips in sample 2 to be confused with the ones matching up in the imagery/spectral data, but, different enough that upon soaking in an organic solvent that reveals that despite the same expected peaks, shows a couple of unexpected ones. Therefore it's likely it's a different substance.
Poor reasoning. It's much more likely that the MEK broke down the matrix material, revealing components not seen on initial scanning.
There were other variations documented, however, the people making the choices about which chips to use were motivated to use paradigm examples of the material, not the questionable ones.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
34. Harrit et al mention several more chips that are in some ways different from chips
a-d as well as the MEK-soaked chip:
i) Fig 25 shows residue of a chip that has
significant Ti, an element not present in chips a-d or the MEK-chip
ii) On page 28, they say they found "some chips have additional elements such as ... barium and copper", two elements that are not present in chips a-d, the MEK-chip or the residue in Fig. 25
iii) The multilayered chip (Fig. 31) is different from all chips mentioned so far in that it has multiple layers and "significant Pb along with
C, O, Fe, and Al" (copper and barium not mentioned)
Agreed. There are a lot of questions remaining. I'd like them answered as well.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
iv) Finally, Fig. 33 shows a gray layer that is not made of iron oxide but of carbon
Yes, interesting. Maybe a hydrocarbon? I'd also like to know.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
35. We must presume that all the chips described in 34. have been selected by Harrit
et al from WTC dust using the same two
selection criteria layed out in 3.: Magnetic
attraction + visual identification as "red-gray chip"
36. It follows that the selection method that Harrit et al actually used can and does yield chips that have chemically different
compositions. Wow.
How is this a "refutation" if they say there were several species of chips found yet after multiple tests, selected a set of very consistent chips? That's one of the things these tests confirmed: chemically indistinguishable material was found in all 4 samples, 3 of which were burned and produced the same by-products, and also some other samples with unusual characteristics.

They fit some of the criteria, but not all. Not necessary to include parallel analysis. Yet still worth mentioning, I think. There's no mutual exclusion here. No contradiction. No refutation. I think it further excludes the possibility (however absurd to begin with) that any evidence was "planted" by the most pointless hoax in history. There are other things in the dust whose composition and characteristics are unknown at this time. They may or may not be related to these known thermitic materials found in the samples.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
That's a long list of claims that I believe you can agree with.
I urge you to look at them carefully and not
accept them too quickly! If you feel some claim
is not well supported, do ask me to provide better support (I tried to keep it brief, but can explain each one in more detail, if needed).
Do nitpick if you see things that can be nitpicked! I want to get the claims that we
agree on as precise as possible!
It's already after midnight now, I've been sitting at this post for 2 or 3 hours.
I have yet to address all the points in your post that I do NOT AGREE with, and I promise I am
not dodging! I'll address them as soon as I
can!
Just one comment, it's about scientific epistemology. You write:
"We are using scientific theorizing
to put together the best explanation with all
the given evidence. ... The scientist doesn't give a phuck about the "unlikely, but possible".
This refutes 4.
"refutation" if they say there were multiple species of chips found yet tested a set of very consistent chips? the things these tests confirmed: chemically indistinguishable material was found in all 4 samples, 3 of which
He chases the "Most likely given all evidence".
I disagree that this is proper scientific method. Allow me to quote (with my approval)
Wikipedia's explanation of Karl Popper's opposition to Logical
positivism:
"Popper held that it is the least likely, or most easily falsifiable, or simplest theory (attributes which he identified as all the same thing) that explains known facts that
one should rationally prefer
. His opposition
to positivism, which held that it is the theory most likely to be true that one should prefer,
here becomes very apparent. It is impossible, Popper argues, to ensure a theory to be true;
it is more important that its falsity can be detected as easily as possible.
"
(My bolding)
In "Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary
Approach" (1972), Popper argues in a thought experiment that one could enumerate infinitely
many theories on any subject, each of them infinitely improbable, and yet one the
improbable theories is the "true" one. He
concludes that the "probability" of a theory
being "true" is a useless concept.
Therefore, what I am looking for is not the
"most likely" theory but the theory that
explains most of the empirical facts; with preference given to simple (parsimonous) theories.
Let's take a look at which theory explains most of the empirical facts and which must declare those data sets as either 1. unreal or 2. insignificant.
There is a preponderance of evidence to support the "high-tech substance" theory and, significantly, when adopted as the most reasonable explanation, all the "anomalies" become explainable events. It does all the explaining the OCT does, as well as all the things the official theory must ignore or downplay. Like all the high-temperature phenomena.

There is also no contradiction with the idea that 4 planes were hijacked and forcefully re-routed to be used as weapons by (mostly) pissed off Saudi men.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
And I can tell you exactly which theory explains, in my opinion, the chips the best:
The different kinds of red-gray chips are
different kinds of red paints - mostly primer on
steel flakes. We can identify the two main chip kinds as the two known WTC steel primers.
But we'll get there later.
Good night for now.
They not only tested paint chips in some of the ways they tested the red grey chips, they categorically ruled them out as a match. The paint softened and dissolved in the MEK. The red-grey chips did not. Paint chips also "immediately reduced to fragile ashes by the hot flame."(22). Not similar at all.

I think S. Pepper's concept of "danda corroboration" here is instructive: the over-arching interpretation of the data leads us not to "sloppy science" nor to "common industrial components". No, the totality of the data make good sense when understood as a high-tech metamaterial intended to cause destruction on command. I don't see how to get around this conclusion given the evidence we have at this point.
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Old 22nd March 2015, 10:31 AM   #10
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Sorry for letting you wait so long - I needed a big chunk of time to reply in a well structured way. I have made myself a private text document to summarize where we stand so far, and where I have marked which claims you agee with, and which you disagree with or qualify.

-----------------------
Allow me to first merely list the points of agreement:

1. The four dust samples that the Harrit-team studied did in fact originate from the collapse of the WTC buildings.
2. The red-gray chips look like they could be paint.
5. The gray layer of all specimens is mostly (>>90%) iron and oxygen, and most likely some iron oxide(s). (However, plenty of remarks by JH which I will address below)
7. Therefore, (almost) all of the exotherm - the energy release and power - comes from a reaction(s) of the red layer (JH: "...about the grey layer ... it s possible that it contributes to the reaction and possible it doesn't..." - I will discuss this below)
11. These 100 nm iron oxide particles are the reason that the red layer is red (JH: "the hydrocarbon matrix may also be red without the iron oxide particles in it, however, I agree that in aggregate, the particles are red. Not an issue of real disagreement, but a note of epistemic caution". Noted, no futher remarks.)
14. Much of the organic polymer reacts when the chips are burned (JH: "easy to ignite, gets hot fast, causes gas expansion, terminal temp, about 1000-1200C" - I am not sure I agree we know those details)
16. The relevant thermite reaction that Harrit et al are talking about is: Fe2O3 + 2 Al -> 2 Fe + Al2O3 (Some reservation by JH which I will address)
18. For a significant thermite reaction to occur, a corresponding significant quantity of (elemental) Al must be present beforehand
19. When a significant thermite reaction has occured, then a significant quantity of aluminium oxide has been produced
20. Harrit et al do not quantify the Al-content
21. Harrit et al report no Al oxide (however JH: "the aluminium oxide produced in a thermitic reaction is a fine particulate, which, being hotter than the ambient air, is ejected like a colloid in fluid. We would not expect to see a microsphere of AlO2". I disgree with the suggestion that A2O3 would be evasive - other researchers had no trouble finding and identifying it after nanothermite-reactions)
23. Harrit et al make no claim about what the Si is before any reaction, and what happens to the Si/Si-compounds during the reaction
25. It is highly unlikely that the MEK-soaked chip (Figures 12-18) has been tested in the DSC or otherwise burned
26. The four EDS-spectra in Figure 6 of the four specimens a-d are very similar
27. The four EDS-spectra in Figure 7 of the four specimens a-d are very similar
28. The BSE micrographs in Figure 8 of the four specimens a-d are very similar
29. I therefore assume that the four specimens a-d are indeed the exact same material
30. Harrit et al present no EDS-spectrum for the gray layer of the MEK-chip that we could compare to Fig. 6 (JH: "Agreed. But the MEK-soaked chip was from sample 2, which corresponds to XEDS spectral graph (b) on page 13. Any reason that doesn't count?
Are you suggesting that the MEK chip may be of a different substance than the other chips, and therefore the analysis of it is moot?
" -> I'll discuss this below)
32. Harrit et al present no BSE-micrograph for the red layer of the MEK-chip that we could compare to Fig. 8 to see if it has the same two kinds of particles embedded
34. Harrit et al mention several more chips that are in some ways different


------------------------
Next up some where I am not sure if Jay's reply applied to them, so I ask again: Agree or disagree?

3. Harrit define exactly two (2) criteria (neither more nor less) to select specimens from the dust samples to be included in the study:
i) They are attracted to a permanent magnet
ii) They have the outward appearance of "chips" that have at least one gray layer and one red layer

4. Throughout the paper, Harrit et al assume that all specimens selected using the defined selection criteria are essentially the same material (or else results from different experiments run on different specimens could not be combined to form a conclusion on both; think apples and oranges)

8. The red layer is some organic (hydrocarbon) polymer, which has smaller particles embedded in it

9. The gray layer is denser (higher weight per volume) than the red layer (two reasons: i) It appears brighter in BSE images, and brightness in BSE imaging scales with average atomic weight/density; ii) all iron oxides are denser than all suitable organic polymers)

10. The red layer of all chip specimens contains particles of ferric oxide (iron oxide, Fe2O3) that are about 100 nm in all dimensions


------------------------
Then there were some replies that I could not classify as "agreed" or "disagreed", so we need to clarify:

6. Therefore, the gray layer is most likely inert (does not contribute significantly to the exotherm in the DSC experiment, as the paper itself points out)
JH: "It s possible there's an interaction going on. It s possible it's inert. If one accepts that this stuff is a high-tech metamaterial, then we are looking at the material as intentional. But there isn't enough data to say one way or the other at this time. This is a point for future study."
I am not sure that Harrit et al. think of the gray layer as a "high-tech metamaterial", they just don't have any conclusions about it. However they write explicitly, on page 13, while discussing the DSC results: "The gray layer was found to consist mostly of iron oxide so that it probably does not contribute to the exotherm, and yet this layer varies greatly in mass from chip to chip."
It is, in my opinion, possible, even likely, that "iron oxide" (which may actually be a mix of different oxides, and even some hydroxides) would react when heated - some Fe3O4 might oxidize to Fe2O3 at slightly elevated temps, or reduce to FeO at higher temps. Changes in the crystal lattice can be expected, which would show as endotherms or exotherms. But these reactions would pale compared to the burning of the hydrocarbon or (if there is any) of thermite (chemical reactions are most often more energetic than purely physical reactions).
So, Jay, can you at least agree that the gray layer is probably inert, or probably contributes only insignificantly to the DSC curves?
Or, if even that is too much, that Harrit et al. consider the gray layer to be essentially inert in the paper?

12. After chips habe burned, there is still a significant amount of red material (see Figures 20, 23, 26)
and
13. The most parsimonious explanation for the red color after burning is that a significant amount of the 100 nm iron oxide particles are still there (have not reacted)
JH: "I agree that combustion in these tests was not 100% in all cases. However, where there is no longer a red layer, the gray layer also appears to have receded. Also, significantly, there's molten metal on the edges of these reacted chips. How can we ignore that?"
I think it doesn't matter much if the red material still forms a "layer" after heating. What matters is that there is still a significant amount of red material left after the reaction. Do you agree that the red material does not react to completion? And that the most parsimonious explanation for the red color after burning is that a significant amount of the 100 nm iron oxide particles are still there (have not reacted)?

What happens to the gray layer is a different matter - and I agree an important one.
I disagree that the shiny material is "[previously] molten metal". Looking at Fig. 2 and 3, I see that, already before burning, the gray layer can appear shiny, and has some roundish surfaces, but there is no indication that it is metallic. Harrit et al think it's iron oxide (see #8 and page 13)

24. There is no indication that any of the chips a-d (those presented in Figures 2-11) have been tested in the DSC or otherwise burned (these four chips were selected from each of the four dust samples 1-4, while of the four specimens tested in DSC and presented in Fig 19, two came from sample 1, and none from sample 3)
JH: "This seems like a non-starter, or at least trivial in combination with the rest of the data. That is, even if this is correct, that they did not use the analysed samples in the DSC, we have good reason to believe in their ability to successfully identify other chips with the same properties.
Actually, no chips from sample 2 (Brooklyn Bridge) were used. Two from (1) and one each from (3, 4). There s no good explanation for this that I saw. For sure, more data is better. I would like to see data for chips in all the samples. But perhaps there was a technical consideration, like the chips were too small or whatever. But if there is no disagreement about the ubiquity of the chips in the dust, I don t see this as a good enough reason to throw out the conclusions of the paper, especially considering the comparative micrographic and spectroscopic data.
"
a) I think it is a starter, but we shall decide that in the end.
b) What good reason do we have "to believe in their ability to successfully identify other chips with the same properties"? I actually contend that they analyse chips with different properties! At least, I want to point out that it is not possible from the data presented that they do use chips with the same properties! That is a most significant step in my argument, and I want us to be clear on it! This has to be looked at in conjunction with #3 and #4 - the objective selection criteria (absolutely necessary to replicate the study) and whether or not they are certain to yield the same material every time! So I would not simply want to "believe" in an ability, I want them to show and objectively describe that ability. This has not been done.
c) Good catch, my mistake, yes, sample 2 is missing in the DSC
d) It's no problem that some sample is represented twice or that another isn't represented, as I agree that all four samples essentially contain dust from the same source. What I want to point out is that, contrary to what many people think, and what can easily be thought, chips a-d, seen in Figures 5-11, are not the same four chips that they tested to get the DSC-curves in Fig. 19. This is significant, again, in connection with my contention that the red-gray chips they studied at least may have been different materials, and quite probably are different materials. Chips a-d are the same, but the MEK-chip is rather certainly different (see below), and the four DSC-curves may very well represent at least two different materials (green and black curves are similar, and red and blue curves are similar, but blue and red are different from green and black in several characteristics).
e) Having said all that, I want to focus back on my question:
"There is no indication that any of the chips a-d (those presented in Figures 2-11) have been tested in the DSC or otherwise burned" - true or not true?

31. The EDS-spectrum for the red layer of the MEK-chip (Fig. 14) is quite different from Fig. 7 in several ways (less Al relative to Si; lots of Ca, much S, significant signals for Mg and Zn, some Cr)
JH: "X-ray spectroscopy can only analyse the top layer to fractions of a mm. But as they document, that chip face was not cleaned nor broken to reveal a clean surface. It was a baseline of the contaminants and the explanation for the Ca and S makes good sense: that its from the wallboard as CaSO4. Zinc and Chromium are no surprise. But after soaking, there's no Calcium peak whatsoever, nor any Zn or Cr. Post-thinner soak, enter Phosphrous, Sodium, Magnesium and Chlorine. The MEK appears to have exposed other components of this material. It appears to be a bit more complex than at first glance.
Interestingly, we find more spectral corroboration for that Mg peak you pointed out at the beginning. Perhaps it was not artifactual.
"
I agree that surface contamination may corrupt the reading (even though this has not been demonstrated or evaluated by Harrit et al. - it's merely conjecture), but the fact remains: The EDS-spectrum for the red layer of the MEK-chip (Fig. 14) is quite different from Fig. 7 in several ways - true or untrue?
Fine gypsum dust no doubt permeated very much of the total dust and may explain at least some of the Ca and S (although the Ca-peak is relatively too high to be explained by gypsum only), but why do you say "Zinc and Chromium are no surprise"? I am surprised, actually! Harrit et al. offer no explanation. What's yours? Mine is obviously: This chip is a primer paint containing zinc chromate (zinc yellow) - very possibly Tnemec red from perimeter columns, which did contain zinc chromate.
After soaking, they only show XEDS from small spots. Excluding C and O, which you find everywhere...
Fig. 16 has Si (trace of Fe)
Fig. 17 has Al (traces of Fe, Mg, Si) - since this was acquired at only 10 kV, Cr would be very unlikely to show
Fig. 18 has Fe, Si, Al (traces of S, Na, P, Cl)
This indicates that it is possible to not see an element that is clearly present elsewhere. Hence, not seeing Zn or Cr in those three spots can be a result of choice of spots. In a primer paint with zinc chromate pigments, pretty much all of the Zn and Cr will be found in those pigments. You point your XEDS beam on an area where there is no zinc chromate pigment, and you won't see any.
(A not so important note: You are mixing up magnesium/Mg, which is seen in the red layer of the MEK chip, Fig. 14, 17, with manganese/Mn, of which there may be a trace in the gray layer of chips a-d, Fig. 6. My explanation for the presence of Mg in the MEK-chip is that the Tnemec Red formulation contains talc, a hydrated magnesium silicate. My explanation for the presence of Mn in the gray layer of chips a-d is that the steel of the WTC floor joists was an alloy with roughly 1% Mn and also some C).

33. It is thus quite possible that the MEK-chip is a material somewhat different from chips a-d
JH: "You are adding unnecessary complication to this. If you think they had the wrong chip to begin with, then you are inserting a third substance: it would be similar enough to the red-grey chips in sample 2 to be confused with the ones matching up in the imagery/spectral data, but, different enough that upon soaking in an organic solvent that reveals that despite the same expected peaks, shows a couple of unexpected ones. Therefore it's likely it's a different substance.
Poor reasoning. It's much more likely that the MEK broke down the matrix material, revealing components not seen on initial scanning.
There were other variations documented, however, the people making the choices about which chips to use were motivated to use paradigm examples of the material, not the questionable ones.
"
I don't understand you here.
What is the importance of "sample 2" here? I think we agreed that all four samples contain dust from the same WTC event, and thus may likely share the same constituent dust materials?
I do NOT think that this MEK-chip is "matching up in the imagery/spectral data". You see, if we are talking here about different red primer paints, they all would be red, they all would contain iron oxide pigments, they all would have an organic binder, they all would be painted on gray steel that, when spalled off, might be attached to a red paint layer and which would lend the chip its magnetic properties (Fe3O4 forms a mineral called "magnetite"), but they would still be different in other properties: For example, Tnemec Red would have zinc chromate, magnesium silicate hydroxide, calcium aluminates and silica, which all would be absent from the LaClede shop primer, which instead has aluminium silicate.
The important point I am trying to get across is this: We agreed on #26, #27, #28 where Harrit et al actually compare chips a-d according to three different criteria and show that these criteria yield essentially the same result for all four chips:
#26: EDX-spectrum of gray layer
#27: EDX-spectrum of red layer
#28: The two different kinds of particles embedded within the red layer
And I am pointing out that by none of these criteria could they show that the MEK-chip is ALSO the same material as chips a-d. Instead, the XEDS for the red layer looks very different.
AND we have agreed, via #34, that their basic selection criteria yield several different red-gray materials.
We therefore can NOT conclude, nor assume, that the MEK chip is of the same material as chips a-d! And hence my claim:
It is quite possible that the MEK-chip is a material somewhat different from chips a-d. True or untrue?

35. We must presume that all the chips described in 34. have been selected by Harrit et al from WTC dust using the same two selection criteria layed out in 3.: Magnetic attraction + visual identification as "red-gray chip"
and
36. It follows that the selection method that Harrit et al actually used can and does yield chips that have chemically different compositions. This refutes #4.
JH: "How is this a "refutation" if they say there were several species of chips found yet after multiple tests, selected a set of very consistent chips? That's one of the things these tests confirmed: chemically indistinguishable material was found in all 4 samples, 3 of which were burned and produced the same by-products, and also some other samples with unusual characteristics.
They fit some of the criteria, but not all. Not necessary to include parallel analysis. Yet still worth mentioning, I think. There's no mutual exclusion here. No contradiction. No refutation. I think it further excludes the possibility (however absurd to begin with) that any evidence was "planted" by the most pointless hoax in history. There are other things in the dust whose composition and characteristics are unknown at this time. They may or may not be related to these known thermitic materials found in the samples.
"
This is how it is a refutation:
#3: "Harrit define exactly two (2) criteria (neither more nor less) to select specimens from the dust samples to be included in the study:
i) They are attracted to a permanent magnet
ii) They have the outward appearance of "chips" that have at least one gray layer and one red layer"
#4: Throughout the paper, Harrit et al assume that all specimens selected using the defined selection criteria are essentially the same material (or else results from different experiments run on different specimens could not be combined to form a conclusion on both; think apples and oranges)
36. It follows that the selection method that Harrit et al actually used can and does yield chips that have chemically different compositions. This refutes #4.
You speak of "several species of chips found yet after multiple tests, selected a set of very consistent chips?" - but which "multiple tests", beyond the two I state on #4 and #35, did they in fact employ to "selected a set of ... chips"? Please name the tests, and for each test, tell me which chips of the set they used to form their conclusions that test was applied to!



----------------------------
Now there were some points that you disagreed with more or less, but I'll leave them for later (my football team is leading at half time on the league leader's turf - that's more important now!). Just to number them:

15. Since the gray layer is considered to be inert, it (the iron oxide it consists of) is still there after the chip burned
17. For a material to be called "thermitic", we should expect that the thermite reaction is the "dominating" reaction; it ought to provide a "very significant" percentage of the exotherm/heat/power that is observed.
22. Harrit et al make no claim that the red-gray chips "explode" or are "explosive"
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Old 23rd March 2015, 11:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Now there were some points that you disagreed with more or less, but I'll leave them for later (my football team is leading at half time on the league leader's turf - that's more important now!). Just to number them:
Borussia Mönchgladbach won 2:0 at Bayern Munich. I watched the 2nd half - a brilliant defensive effort, crowned by excellently executed fast breaks. I was very happy

Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
15. Since the gray layer is considered to be inert, it (the iron oxide it consists of) is still there after the chip burned
17. For a material to be called "thermitic", we should expect that the thermite reaction is the "dominating" reaction; it ought to provide a "very significant" percentage of the exotherm/heat/power that is observed.
22. Harrit et al make no claim that the red-gray chips "explode" or are "explosive"
Now on to your disagreements, where I will ask you to reconsider:

15. Since the gray layer is considered to be inert, it (the iron oxide it consists of) is still there after the chip burned
JH: "Not agreed. I have seen no evidence for a left-over grey layer post-ignition of a bi-layer chip. No photos, no accounts of this. I'm not claiming it reacted. It may have been mechanically dismantled, inert, an incidental substance. But it's definitely not there after ignition of the red stuff. And it remains possible it's a catalyst. I'm sure you're as curious as I am. "
a) You have not been shown any such evidence, but what do you think happened to the gray material? Remember, Harrit et al themselves consider it inert iron oxide, so they imply it does not react chemically in the DSC, which means absolutely that this iron oxide must still be around. Perhaps not in the shape of a "layer", but it can't be gone. Or if it's gone, wouldn't Harrit et al not have noticed, wondered and made a mention of it? After all, the gray matter is easily half the volume of the chips before the reaction; with much of the organic matrix burned, the gray stuff should constitute most of the volume of the residue!
So no matter if it changed shape or not, acted as a catalyst or not, was incidental or not, it can't just disappear!
b) How sure are you that the shiny gray material seen in Fig 23 and 26 (both show the same specimen, by the way) is not from the gray layer?
How sure, indeed, are you that any other apparently iron-rich bits of residue aren't from the gray layer?
I'd ask you to consider mostly a) when I ask again (slightly reworded):
Since the gray layer is considered to be inert iron oxide, it must still be there after the chip burned. TRUE or UNTRUE?

17. For a material to be called "thermitic", we should expect that the thermite reaction is the "dominating" reaction; it ought to provide a "very significant" percentage of the exotherm/heat/power that is observed. (We can argue where "very significant" begins, but I'd suggest that if the thermite reaction contribution less than 10% of the total observed energy release with >90% coming from something else, we should not call that material "thermitic")
JH: "I don t know what percentage the thermitic reaction contributed vs. the hydrocarbon combustion. That would require a separate set of tests, I believe.
For the time, I think it's faire to say that the hydrocarbon matrix is combusting in addition to some species of thermitic reaction as you describe above. unclear. (I say "species" because the role of the alumino-silicate plates in the reaction is unclear. We know that in addition to iron ms by-products, there are silicate microspheres as well. These spheres are also found in the WTC dust as documented by RJ Lee and the USGS.
Would you agree the silicate-based spheres are by-products of the red chips oxidizing?
"
I am not making a claim here about what percentage the thermitic reaction did in fact contribute vs. the hydrocarbon combustion, I am trying to establish a criterion, and have you agree to it, what minimum percentage the thermitic reaction ought contribute for the entire reaction or material to be labeled "thermitic". Much like a fabric cannot fairly be described as "wooly" if it has less than 25% wool; a beverage ought not be called "spirit" if it has less than 5% alcohol, a rug should not be marketed as "hand-made" if less than 20% of its knots have been knit by hand, an exotherm reaction should not be called "thermitic" if the actual thermite reaction does not contribute at least x% to the exotherm. Usually I would say that x ought to be at least 50%, but I made a generous offer and suggested that at least 10% of the heat should be generated by the reaction of Aluminium with Iron Oxide, or else the term is misapplied.
I also granted some leeway elsewhere when I conceded that, as long as we don't know what the Si is, it may contribute some sort of thermitic reaction: Either Si+Fe2O3, or Al+SiO2.
So I ask: As a criterion to label an exothermic reaction or material "thermitic", do you agree that it should get at least 10% of it's exotherm (heat) from thermite reactions (i.e. reaction of a metal with a metal oxide)?

As for "the role of the alumino-silicate plates in the reaction is unclear": It should not be. Aluminium silicates are fully oxidized compounds. They can be thought of as compounds made of silica (SiO2), alumina (Al2O3) and water (H2O). The only feasible reaction pathway would be if the silica-component reacted with elemental Al, which would produce elemental Si and more alumina, and probably release some water. The original alumina-component would remain and merely constitute inert mass. The free Si might further react with Fe2O3, but if Al and Fe2O3 are present along with the silicate, they would more likely react directly with each other and leave the silicate alone. In sum, it would simply be a complicated and wasteful way to slow down and dilute the thermite reaction proper.
If you think that silicate microspheres are the result of a thermite reaction, you'd have to suggest a reaction pathway.


22. Harrit et al make no claim that the red-gray chips "explode" or are "explosive"
JH: "Not true.
Originally Posted by Harrit, et. al.
"Commercially available thermite behaves as an incendiary when ignited [6], but when the ingredients are ultra-fine grain (UFG) and are intimately mixed, this nano-thermite reacts very rapidly, even explosively, and is sometimes referred to as super-thermite [20, 22]. pg 23.
This combination of (UFG) components mixed intimately is exactly how they describe the red material. In addition, the DSC comparison with the known thermitic xerogel shows that the WTC chips produce a sharper, more violent exotherm. I m not sure why you have an interest in whether the reaction is deemed explosive or not, but there should be no question as to whether this stuff is highly reactive at about 430C.
"
I think you are wrong and must reconsider.
Please pay attention that
a) I am talking about the observed behaviour of the red-gray chips and
b) "Explosive" means not just a "highly reactive" material, but one whose reaction speed exceeds certain thresholds: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Explosi...al#By_velocity - I suggest that we go with the lowest value that Wikipedia mentions: "...low explosives undergo deflagration at rates that vary from a few centimetres per second to approximately 400 metres per second". An explosive chip that is 1 mm in its largest dimension, if it reacts at a speed of "a few centimetres per second", would release all of its energy within a fraction of a tenth of a second.
Your Harrit et al quote describes some commercially available thermite - it is NOT the description of how any red-gray chip behaves in any experment! I think you are falling for a semantic trap here! They suggest in your mind that you mistake their description of some other material for a description of the chips, but where does this actually stand?
The character string "explo"appears in the paper exclusively when describing materials that Harrit et al did NOT study. The closest they come to describing the reaction of the chips is on page 23 and 29, where they use the word "vigorously". That is NOT the same as "explosively"!
They, and you, argue with the "narrowness" of the DSC curves, but that is deceptive: The DSC-test was done at a heating rate of 10 °C/min (page 10). The DSC-plot in Fig. 19 has °C on the x-axis, but 10 °C is, per the heating rate applied, equivalent to 1 min. The four peaks have widths very roughly between 50 °C (blue curve) and 100 °C (black) (with the green curve having no clear beginning and end of peak - I'd put it at more than 300 °C wide!), which means the energy release was measured during the course of 5 to 10 minutes - not within a fraction of a tenth of a second! The DSC-curves do not support at all the claim that the chips react "explosively"!
So I repeat my claim: Harrit et al make no claim that the red-gray chips "explode" or are "explosive" - and if you want to disagree, you need to show where Harrit et al actually make the claim that any chip actually does explode!
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Old 24th April 2015, 08:44 AM   #12
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Gentle "push" after a month...
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Old 12th May 2015, 02:48 PM   #13
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*nudge nudge*
*wink wink*
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Old 20th May 2015, 02:15 PM   #14
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Jay Howard, have you abandoned this debate? Why?
Or do you plan to continue one day? When?
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Old 24th May 2015, 04:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Sorry for letting you wait so long - I needed a big chunk of time to reply in a well structured way. I have made myself a private text document to summarize where we stand so far, and where I have marked which claims you agee with, and which you disagree with or qualify.

-----------------------
Allow me to first merely list the points of agreement:

1. The four dust samples that the Harrit-team studied did in fact originate from the collapse of the WTC buildings.
2. The red-gray chips look like they could be paint.
5. The gray layer of all specimens is mostly (>>90%) iron and oxygen, and most likely some iron oxide(s). (However, plenty of remarks by JH which I will address below)
7. Therefore, (almost) all of the exotherm - the energy release and power - comes from a reaction(s) of the red layer (JH: "...about the grey layer ... it s possible that it contributes to the reaction and possible it doesn't..." - I will discuss this below)
I remain agnostic on the gray layer.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
11. These 100 nm iron oxide particles are the reason that the red layer is red (JH: "the hydrocarbon matrix may also be red without the iron oxide particles in it, however, I agree that in aggregate, the particles are red. Not an issue of real disagreement, but a note of epistemic caution". Noted, no futher remarks.)
14. Much of the organic polymer reacts when the chips are burned (JH: "easy to ignite, gets hot fast, causes gas expansion, terminal temp, about 1000-1200C" - I am not sure I agree we know those details)
Fair enough to say we don't know what the actual terminal temperature is, but it's at least as hot as molten iron, agreed? The other properties are from testing and observation.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
16. The relevant thermite reaction that Harrit et al are talking about is: Fe2O3 + 2 Al -> 2 Fe + Al2O3 (Some reservation by JH which I will address)
18. For a significant thermite reaction to occur, a corresponding significant quantity of (elemental) Al must be present beforehand
19. When a significant thermite reaction has occured, then a significant quantity of aluminium oxide has been produced
20. Harrit et al do not quantify the Al-content
21. Harrit et al report no Al oxide (however JH: "the aluminium oxide produced in a thermitic reaction is a fine particulate, which, being hotter than the ambient air, is ejected like a colloid in fluid. We would not expect to see a microsphere of AlO2". I disgree with the suggestion that A2O3 would be evasive - other researchers had no trouble finding and identifying it after nanothermite-reactions)
I'm sure it was created in massive sets of reactions. I'll bet it was on many surfaces. But there's no good reason to suppose it precipitated. If I'm right, it's the white smoke that comes off the core structure of Building 2, immediately after the exterior came down. Blown off into the surrounding environment in fine-particulate form. I'm sure if we looked, we'd find it. Would you mind explaining how this is relevant to the conclusions of the paper?


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
23. Harrit et al make no claim about what the Si is before any reaction, and what happens to the Si/Si-compounds during the reaction
25. It is highly unlikely that the MEK-soaked chip (Figures 12-18) has been tested in the DSC or otherwise burned
26. The four EDS-spectra in Figure 6 of the four specimens a-d are very similar
27. The four EDS-spectra in Figure 7 of the four specimens a-d are very similar
28. The BSE micrographs in Figure 8 of the four specimens a-d are very similar
29. I therefore assume that the four specimens a-d are indeed the exact same material
30. Harrit et al present no EDS-spectrum for the gray layer of the MEK-chip that we could compare to Fig. 6 (JH: "Agreed. But the MEK-soaked chip was from sample 2, which corresponds to XEDS spectral graph (b) on page 13. Any reason that doesn't count?
Are you suggesting that the MEK chip may be of a different substance than the other chips, and therefore the analysis of it is moot?
" -> I'll discuss this below)
32. Harrit et al present no BSE-micrograph for the red layer of the MEK-chip that we could compare to Fig. 8 to see if it has the same two kinds of particles embedded
I don't agree that the MEK chip was a different material. To have it surreptitiously confirm the predictions about it being thermitic, especially containing free aluminium as confirmed by the XEDS maps, I find ridiculous. You would have to find it more likely that another, unrelated piece of material also has nano-particulate, free aluminium, just as predicted by the thermitic hypothesis, than to just accept that it was the same material. That's simply not reasonable and if that's what you want to stake your claims on, then we will have to agree to part ways. I don't accept that hypothesis under any conditions because you're asking me to accept the very low-probability coincidence that another material has some strikingly similar composition and contains not 1, but 2 visibly and chemically similar structures as the unsoaked red/gray chips as well as remnants of the dissolved hydrocarbon matrix. It's hardly a serious question. There is no controversy about whether they accidentally analysed 2 or more species of material, because the sorting mechanisms would only allow other species of the same material through.

Is it magnetic? Yes.
Is it composed of a red-gray bilayer? Yes.

When analysed by various micrography techniques, does it appear to have the same constituent parts? Yes.

Any differences at this point would be trivial in comparison to the over-arching corroboration of multiple data sets. If you don't accept this, you're not being serious.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
34. Harrit et al mention several more chips that are in some ways different


------------------------
Next up some where I am not sure if Jay's reply applied to them, so I ask again: Agree or disagree?

3. Harrit define exactly two (2) criteria (neither more nor less) to select specimens from the dust samples to be included in the study:
i) They are attracted to a permanent magnet
ii) They have the outward appearance of "chips" that have at least one gray layer and one red layer
Yes. But let's not kid ourselves. They did the following comparisons:

Magnet test
visual inspection
photomicrographs
BSE images
SEM images
XEDS graphs
XEDS maps
DSC tests
post-burn residues comparison using:
visual inspection
photomicrographs
XEDS graphs
and a few other quantitative comparisons that you're aware of because you read the paper.

Again, your criticism is hardly serious.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
4. Throughout the paper, Harrit et al assume that all specimens selected using the defined selection criteria are essentially the same material (or else results from different experiments run on different specimens could not be combined to form a conclusion on both; think apples and oranges)
I'm not going to accept those premises. If these are your conditions, then the discussion is over. These are the same materials--or similar enough (by virtue of morphology and chemical identity) to consider as having been made at about the same time for the same purposes. If they did indeed test different thermitic species, it bears not at all on the fact that they are thermitic.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
8. The red layer is some organic (hydrocarbon) polymer, which has smaller particles embedded in it

9. The gray layer is denser (higher weight per volume) than the red layer (two reasons: i) It appears brighter in BSE images, and brightness in BSE imaging scales with average atomic weight/density; ii) all iron oxides are denser than all suitable organic polymers)
10. The red layer of all chip specimens contains particles of ferric oxide (iron oxide, Fe2O3) that are about 100 nm in all dimensions
Yes. This is an important point: the red layer is comprised of relatively uniform 100 nm Fe2O3 particles mixed thoroughly—apparently to maximize surface area.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
------------------------
Then there were some replies that I could not classify as "agreed" or "disagreed", so we need to clarify:

6. Therefore, the gray layer is most likely inert (does not contribute significantly to the exotherm in the DSC experiment, as the paper itself points out)

JH: "It s possible there's an interaction going on. It s possible it's inert. If one accepts that this stuff is a high-tech metamaterial, then we are looking at the material as intentional. But there isn't enough data to say one way or the other at this time. This is a point for future study." [/indent]I am not sure that Harrit et al. think of the gray layer as a "high-tech metamaterial", they just don't have any conclusions about it.
That's demonstrably wrong:

"Based on these observations, we conclude that the red layer of the red/gray chips we have discovered in the WTC dust is active, unreacted thermitic material, incorporating nanotechnology, and is a highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive material." 29

They don't explicitly say the gray layer is reactive, but that proposition is not ruled out by any of the tests. To their analysis, “the iron [in the gray layer] is oxidized and apparently in oxidation state III, indicating that Fe2O3, or perhaps an iron (III) oxo-bridged polymer, is present.” 19.

The implication here is that this may be a catalysing agent. Again, further tests are required to verify or rule that out. It's definitely not paint, primer or a baked agent. All ceramics will have Si as a component. The gray layer has no such component.

Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
[indent] However they write explicitly, on page 13, while discussing the DSC results: "The gray layer was found to consist mostly of iron oxide so that it probably does not contribute to the exotherm, and yet this layer varies greatly in mass from chip to chip."
It is, in my opinion, possible, even likely, that "iron oxide" (which may actually be a mix of different oxides, and even some hydroxides) would react when heated - some Fe3O4 might oxidize to Fe2O3 at slightly elevated temps, or reduce to FeO at higher temps. Changes in the crystal lattice can be expected, which would show as endotherms or exotherms. But these reactions would pale compared to the burning of the hydrocarbon or (if there is any) of thermite (chemical reactions are most often more energetic than purely physical reactions).
So, Jay, can you at least agree that the gray layer is probably inert, or probably contributes only insignificantly to the DSC curves?
No, I can't. I can agree that we don't know, and it might be significant, but we do not yet know.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Or, if even that is too much, that Harrit et al. consider the gray layer to be essentially inert in the paper?
I remain agnostic on the gray layer. More analysis will tell. I have a suspicion it will tell a lot--based on the notion that this material is intentional and highly engineered. Holy cow, how many times are you going to re-word this proposition-question?


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
12. After chips habe burned, there is still a significant amount of red material (see Figures 20, 23, 26)






What's significant here is that there are fresh IRON beads on the edges of these chips. What do you make of that? There is hardly stronger corroboration for the thermitic hypothesis than these results. So, no, I don't agree there is a "significant" amount of red material left over, not that it matters much considering this is definitely thermitic.

There just isn't any good argument that this material isn't a high-tech, manufactured explosive/incendiary hybrid designed to ignite at low temps and reach somewhere above the melting point of iron.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
and
13. The most parsimonious explanation for the red color after burning is that a significant amount of the 100 nm iron oxide particles are still there (have not reacted)
Again with the "significant". No. It's not significant unless you can weigh it and compare it.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
JH: "I agree that combustion in these tests was not 100% in all cases. However, where there is no longer a red layer, the gray layer also appears to have receded. Also, significantly, there's molten metal on the edges of these reacted chips. How can we ignore that?"
I think it doesn't matter much if the red material still forms a "layer" after heating. What matters is that there is still a significant amount of red material left after the reaction. Do you agree that the red material does not react to completion?
You just quoted me agreeing with that. Why ask again in the next sentence? And more importantly, what do you make of the shiny beads of iron on the edges of these chips?


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
And that the most parsimonious explanation for the red color after burning is that a significant amount of the 100 nm iron oxide particles are still there (have not reacted)?
See above.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
What happens to the gray layer is a different matter - and I agree an important one.
It's important, I agree.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
I disagree that the shiny material is "[previously] molten metal".
Then go away. It's foolish to look at fresh iron droplets on the ends of these ignited pieces and say it's anything but previously molten metal—in this case, iron.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Looking at Fig. 2 and 3, I see that, already before burning, the gray layer can appear shiny, and has some roundish surfaces, but there is no indication that it is metallic. Harrit et al think it's iron oxide (see #8 and page 13)
Clearly this stuff was used. These are remnants. Clearly there that shine is metallic in the microphraphs.



Looks strikingly like:



They might have described a photograph incorrectly, but that would be a foolish reason to dismiss their conclusions.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
24. There is no indication that any of the chips a-d (those presented in Figures 2-11) have been tested in the DSC or otherwise burned (these four chips were selected from each of the four dust samples 1-4, while of the four specimens tested in DSC and presented in Fig 19, two came from sample 1, and none from sample 3)
JH: "This seems like a non-starter, or at least trivial in combination with the rest of the data. That is, even if this is correct, that they did not use the analysed samples in the DSC, we have good reason to believe in their ability to successfully identify other chips with the same properties.
Actually, no chips from sample 2 (Brooklyn Bridge) were used. Two from (1) and one each from (3, 4). There s no good explanation for this that I saw. For sure, more data is better. I would like to see data for chips in all the samples. But perhaps there was a technical consideration, like the chips were too small or whatever. But if there is no disagreement about the ubiquity of the chips in the dust, I don t see this as a good enough reason to throw out the conclusions of the paper, especially considering the comparative micrographic and spectroscopic data.
"
a) I think it is a starter, but we shall decide that in the end.
Why not just let the secret out.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
b) What good reason do we have "to believe in their ability to successfully identify other chips with the same properties"?
Because they're making the case that facets of the military-industrial community were complicit in these events. They are looking for the best examples of the thermitic material they can possibly find. Then, of course, there's micrographs, XEDS graphs, BSE, SEM images, DSC performance graphs, and weight and volume/energy comparisons with known nanothermite, as well as with a basket of explosives.

What would count as a "good" reason for you? Your denial is not scientific or “cautiously epistemic.” It's messy thinking which gives you bad answers.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
I actually contend that they analyse chips with different properties!
There may be a variety of chips. That's a possibility. If these chips were indeed, as I contend, a military-grade concoction, there may have been more than one variety. I don't know. All the more reason to look further. But it does not mitigate the existence or properties of the ones analysed in the paper.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
At least, I want to point out that it is not possible from the data presented that they do use chips with the same properties! That is a most significant step in my argument, and I want us to be clear on it!
This premise has already been handily dismissed. Move on already. This is a non-starter for the sheer fact that they found a material that produces MOLTEN IRON when ignited from a relatively low temperature.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
This has to be looked at in conjunction with #3 and #4 - the objective selection criteria (absolutely necessary to replicate the study) and whether or not they are certain to yield the same material every time! So I would not simply want to "believe" in an ability, I want them to show and objectively describe that ability.
Do you believe they found this stuff in the dust or not? That's the only real question underlying your incredulity. And if you believe anyone was making this **** up and putting in the dust as a ploy, please make that clear.

As for the rest of the data, there is so much cross-corroboration to the thermitic theory at this point, it becomes a known fact.

It's all in the paper:
comparative micrographs
"" XEDS graphs
"" XEDS maps
BSE images
SEM images
comparative DSC graphs
known nanothermite comparison
known explosive mass/weight comparison

You haven't given any good reason whatsoever to disregard the data in aggregate. Your only strategy is to appeal to a very low-probability suggestion that “there may have been more than one material with similar nano-structures, looks and that was also magnetic, but was a different material. Therefore the results are not conculsive.”

Weak tits, Timmy.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
This has not been done.
Why isn't the magnet and visual inspection sufficient, especially when further testing clearly shows these separate samples to be composed of the same constituents.




Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
c) Good catch, my mistake, yes, sample 2 is missing in the DSC
d) It's no problem that some sample is represented twice or that another isn't represented, as I agree that all four samples essentially contain dust from the same source. What I want to point out is that, contrary to what many people think, and what can easily be thought, chips a-d, seen in Figures 5-11, are not the same four chips that they tested to get the DSC-curves in Fig. 19. This is significant, again, in connection with my contention that the red-gray chips they studied at least may have been different materials, and quite probably are different materials.
Again, the aggregation of data is too powerful to dismiss the whole of it on some sneaking suspicion that they might be testing a different material than what they did all the analyses on. Do you think something was planted? If so, just come out and say it. If not, then we agree all the things they tested were found in the dust.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Chips a-d are the same, but the MEK-chip is rather certainly different (see below),
There is no good reason to say that. (See above, below and all through this post.)


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
and the four DSC-curves may very well represent at least two different materials (green and black curves are similar, and red and blue curves are similar, but blue and red are different from green and black in several characteristics).


Why is there any question about the similarity between these samples? The real question is why is there any thermitic material in this dust at all?

Compared to the known nanothermite, it's even more energetic:



Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
e) Having said all that, I want to focus back on my question:
"There is no indication that any of the chips a-d (those presented in Figures 2-11) have been tested in the DSC or otherwise burned" - true or not true?
All they said was they tested example materials from all 4 samples. What reason could you imagine that they accidentally tested a different material in the DSC than which they imaged in a-d? You're asking me to accept an unreasonable hypothesis in order to make your point. That means your point is ********. I do not accept that their sorting process was unable to distinguish different materials that just so happen to have properties and nano-particulate constituents in common.

You're making a distinction without a difference so you can dodge the conclusions, all the while ignoring that they definitely found a thermitic material that shouldn't be in the dust no matter what.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
31. The EDS-spectrum for the red layer of the MEK-chip (Fig. 14) is quite different from Fig. 7 in several ways (less Al relative to Si; lots of Ca, much S, significant signals for Mg and Zn, some Cr)
JH: "X-ray spectroscopy can only analyse the top layer to fractions of a mm. But as they document, that chip face was not cleaned nor broken to reveal a clean surface. It was a baseline of the contaminants and the explanation for the Ca and S makes good sense: that its from the wallboard as CaSO4. Zinc and Chromium are no surprise. But after soaking, there's no Calcium peak whatsoever, nor any Zn or Cr. Post-thinner soak, enter Phosphrous, Sodium, Magnesium and Chlorine. The MEK appears to have exposed other components of this material. It appears to be a bit more complex than at first glance.
Interestingly, we find more spectral corroboration for that Mg peak you pointed out at the beginning. Perhaps it was not artifactual.
"
I agree that surface contamination may corrupt the reading (even though this has not been demonstrated or evaluated by Harrit et al. - it's merely conjecture), but the fact remains: The EDS-spectrum for the red layer of the MEK-chip (Fig. 14) is quite different from Fig. 7 in several ways - true or untrue?
Fine gypsum dust no doubt permeated very much of the total dust and may explain at least some of the Ca and S (although the Ca-peak is relatively too high to be explained by gypsum only),
You have no business claiming “the Ca-peak is relatively too high to be explained by gypsum”. Gypsum was one of the main constituents of the dust. Not to mention, concrete also has Ca as a major constituent. Stop making baseless claims. It just shows how desperate you are to undermine the conclusions of the paper.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
but why do you say "Zinc and Chromium are no surprise"? I am surprised, actually! Harrit et al. offer no explanation. What's yours? Mine is obviously: This chip is a primer paint containing zinc chromate (zinc yellow) - very possibly Tnemec red from perimeter columns, which did contain zinc chromate.
Then what happened to the Zn and Cr after soaking in the MEK bath? Are you suggesting the MEK process sucked all the Zn and Cr out of the primer? That's a really unsubstantiated conclusion to draw. Of course, it's complete bull. The MEK protocol would not reduce or mask or make the Zn or Cr. Any suggestion that it would is pure pseudoscience.

The fact that they show up before the bath but not after the bath corroborates the notion that it was contamination from primer paint or a multitude of other sources. It washed off. It was not chemically bonded. Therefore, it's contamination. For sure. We can rest assured.

The fact that you introduce these completely outlandish, ad hoc hypotheses which are designed with the sole purposes of denying the conclusions in the paper just goes to the point of how desperate your arguments are. None of your criticisms are the least bit serious.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
After soaking, they only show XEDS from small spots. Excluding C and O, which you find everywhere...
Fig. 16 has Si (trace of Fe)
Fig. 17 has Al (traces of Fe, Mg, Si) - since this was acquired at only 10 kV, Cr would be very unlikely to show
Fig. 18 has Fe, Si, Al (traces of S, Na, P, Cl)
This indicates that it is possible to not see an element that is clearly present elsewhere. Hence, not seeing Zn or Cr in those three spots can be a result of choice of spots. In a primer paint with zinc chromate pigments, pretty much all of the Zn and Cr will be found in those pigments.
If this were true, then why wouldn't we see the Zn and Cr with the Fe? The Fe is, according to you, a pigment, right? No reason they should've missed it. This is a pure argument from ignorance: you're appealing to the non-existence of the Zn and Cr peaks as reasons to suppose they might be there. Sorry, that's more insubstantial bunk.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
You point your XEDS beam on an area where there is no zinc chromate pigment, and you won't see any.
They captured a wide variety of elemental signatures. They found Zn and Cr before it was soaked in MEK. The did NOT find it after soaking. To you it's more reasonable that it's still there and they just missed it. To the rest of the world, it was washed off a few minutes or seconds after it was dropped into the acetone bath, because it was dirty to begin with.

Once again, you've got to advance an unacceptable premise to get to your conclusion. I don't accept that they just missed the Zn and Cr after the MEK soak. It's more reasonable to accept that it was contamination. Moving on.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
(A not so important note: You are mixing up magnesium/Mg, which is seen in the red layer of the MEK chip, Fig. 14, 17, with manganese/Mn, of which there may be a trace in the gray layer of chips a-d, Fig. 6.
Gotcha. Thank you.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
My explanation for the presence of Mg in the MEK-chip is that the Tnemec Red formulation contains talc, a hydrated magnesium silicate. My explanation for the presence of Mn in the gray layer of chips a-d is that the steel of the WTC floor joists was an alloy with roughly 1% Mn and also some C).
And that what? We've already ruled out that the MEK chip is paint or primer of any kind. You've got to accept too many unrealistic premises to get to that conclusion. Too many predictions of the thermitic theory align to throw out the conclusions based on some half-baked, paper-mache suggestion that has no experimental corroboration nor any predictive power.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
33. It is thus quite possible that the MEK-chip is a material somewhat different from chips a-d
JH: "You are adding unnecessary complication to this. If you think they had the wrong chip to begin with, then you are inserting a third substance: it would be similar enough to the red-grey chips in sample 2 to be confused with the ones matching up in the imagery/spectral data, but, different enough that upon soaking in an organic solvent that reveals that despite the same expected peaks, shows a couple of unexpected ones. Therefore it's likely it's a different substance.
Poor reasoning. It's much more likely that the MEK broke down the matrix material, revealing components not seen on initial scanning.
There were other variations documented, however, the people making the choices about which chips to use were motivated to use paradigm examples of the material, not the questionable ones.
"
I don't understand you here.
What is the importance of "sample 2" here? I think we agreed that all four samples contain dust from the same WTC event, and thus may likely share the same constituent dust materials?
I do NOT think that this MEK-chip is "matching up in the imagery/spectral data".
Did we not already establish that the MEK chip was not washed or freshly cleaved, but as found in the dust? That means we should expect to see a number of contaminants. I don't think it's a stretch of the imagination that since this chip was to be soaking and agitated in MEK for the better part of a week, that it would be clean shortly after entering the mix. The morphology was substantially similar, i.e., it was magnetic and constituted by a red-gray bilayer. Pretty specific sorting process. What else do you think could accidentally fit these criteria, both magnetic and composed of a red-gray bilayer?

This is where you're criticisms are just off-base. You refuse to accept non-controversial premises, like the MEK chip is a red-gray chip that's been soaked and aggitated in MEK for 55 hours” in place of non-sensical positions like, “what if this sorting process was not discriminate enough and allowed a contaminant material which is also comprised of chemically indistinct nano-particles of almost the exact same sizes as untreated pieces?”

It's a non-question. It's meaningless without accepting that there are at least TWO substances with indistinguishable nano-particles in a chemically indistinguishable hydrocarbon matrix. It is a distinction without a difference. That's your entire argument.

I'll take any serious criticism to heart, but yours is hardly serious.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
You see, if we are talking here about different red primer paints, they all would be red, they all would contain iron oxide pigments, they all would have an organic binder, they all would be painted on gray steel that, when spalled off, might be attached to a red paint layer and which would lend the chip its magnetic properties (Fe3O4 forms a mineral called "magnetite")
Stop right here. This is where you have to start pushing some more outlandish propositions. For starters, that the time-dependent corrosion, as seen on this column from the disaster, could ever look like the gray layer—or any combination of primer, whether baked or painted, could ever look like these bilayer chips. There are absolutely zero instances of a substance like this forming naturally through any process.



or



We see no apparent "thinning" from a corrosion attack on these rusted surfaces. This is what you'd expect from normal geological erosion processes.

Not this:


You're basically asking me to believe that an explosive/corrosive material grew from the exterior of these beams. That's much more outlandish than the possibility that someone applied this material covertly.

Love how you say “gray steel” as if that's the explanation for the gray layer. Such bunk nonsense. And the iron oxide pigments in primer paints are not composed of uniform 100 nm particles. The price has come down significantly, but in 2006, a gram of uniform 100 nm Fe2O3 (in many forms) was going for about ₤80-100 per gram. Nano-particulate iron oxide was not in existence in 1970, or if it was, it was certainly not manufactured on any great scale for use in industrial primers.

You've got to accept ridiculous premises in order to make your arguments work. In other words, you're wrong. This material is a thermitic metamaterial made in some high-tech manufacturing facility. We haven't seen anything like it before and it goes a long, long way in explaining how the towers fell and all the other high temperature phenomena for which the official narrative must ignore.

The real question is, seeing how all these things are true, why aren't you behind a new investigation?


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
but they would still be different in other properties: For example, Tnemec Red would have zinc chromate, magnesium silicate hydroxide, calcium aluminates and silica, which all would be absent from the LaClede shop primer, which instead has aluminium silicate.
The important point I am trying to get across is this: We agreed on #26, #27, #28 where Harrit et al actually compare chips a-d according to three different criteria and show that these criteria yield essentially the same result for all four chips:
#26: EDX-spectrum of gray layer
#27: EDX-spectrum of red layer
#28: The two different kinds of particles embedded within the red layer
And I am pointing out that by none of these criteria could they show that the MEK-chip is ALSO the same material as chips a-d. Instead, the XEDS for the red layer looks very different.
No sir. We've been through this. Stop selling. You are refusing to accept that the differences between the pre-soak MEK chip and the other red-gray chips can be accounted for by dust contamination. Why are you refusing this premise?


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
AND we have agreed, via #34, that their basic selection criteria yield several different red-gray materials.
I agree that the “magnetic + red-gray bilayer” criteria might aggregate different species of very similar material combinations. Further testing, as repeated above, verifies the same morphologies, chemical constituents, combustion properties and by-products of the samples found in the dust. There is no way these are different materials. If you believe so, you can take your ball and go home.

In this light, it's possible that along with the red-gray material that was applied with intent to cause destruction, there may have been other substances—perhaps designed to be thermal bridge materials for higher temperatures, or perhaps which had differing viscosities for different parts of the structure. I don't know. But I certainly believe it warrants further investigation.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
We therefore can NOT conclude, nor assume, that the MEK chip is of the same material as chips a-d!
Therefore, you're wrong and unjustified in employing ******** assumptions to try to throw out the MEK chip. The assumptions you must use to try to throw out the MEK chip are less reasonable than accepting that the MEK chip is indeed one of the red-gray chips, like all the other samples analysed.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
And hence my claim:
It is quite possible that the MEK-chip is a material somewhat different from chips a-d. True or untrue?
Sorry. It's not different enough to change any conclusions drawn from its analysis. If it is different, it's still composed of the same constituents in the same proportions as the chips that ignited and formed molten iron. It's still a highly-engineered incendiary-explosive hybrid that would go a long way in explaining the strange corrosion processes found in several places from the disasters. The bottom line remains: an investigation should be mounted to find the source of this material and who had it placed in the towers.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
35. We must presume that all the chips described in 34. have been selected by Harrit et al from WTC dust using the same two selection criteria layed out in 3.: Magnetic attraction + visual identification as "red-gray chip"
and
36. It follows that the selection method that Harrit et al actually used can and does yield chips that have chemically different compositions. This refutes #4.
Again, if the selection yeilds materials that are macroscopically, microscopically, and chemically similar, as well as sharing properties including magnetism, then any differences we find in them are interesting, but not reasons to throw out any conclusions derived from their study.

Moreover, the elemental Al found in the MEK chip corroborates the thermitic hypothesis. Given the non-MEK samples ignited and produced molten iron, that's a wrap on the question “thermitic?”. The answer is a resounding “yes, it's *********** thermitic.” There is every reason to accept these conclusions and not any good reason presented yet to reject them.

Again, you're asking me to accept premises which are not reasonable. After matching all the criteria above, to reject the MEK sample because of surface contamination is just not reasonable.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
JH: "How is this a "refutation" if they say there were several species of chips found yet after multiple tests, selected a set of very consistent chips? That's one of the things these tests confirmed: chemically indistinguishable material was found in all 4 samples, 3 of which were burned and produced the same by-products, and also some other samples with unusual characteristics.
They fit some of the criteria, but not all. Not necessary to include parallel analysis. Yet still worth mentioning, I think. There's no mutual exclusion here. No contradiction. No refutation. I think it further excludes the possibility (however absurd to begin with) that any evidence was "planted" by the most pointless hoax in history. There are other things in the dust whose composition and characteristics are unknown at this time. They may or may not be related to these known thermitic materials found in the samples.
"
This is how it is a refutation:
#3: "Harrit define exactly two (2) criteria (neither more nor less) to select specimens from the dust samples to be included in the study:
i) They are attracted to a permanent magnet
ii) They have the outward appearance of "chips" that have at least one gray layer and one red layer"
#4: Throughout the paper, Harrit et al assume that all specimens selected using the defined selection criteria are essentially the same material (or else results from different experiments run on different specimens could not be combined to form a conclusion on both; think apples and oranges)
If there were indeed different species of thermitic material being employed, then it's more like mandarines and tangerines. But the selection processes were good enough to distinguish a very distinct metamaterial. With the further testing employed and explained, these samples represent a laboratory-grade material designed to ignite with a lighter and exceed the melting point of steel.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
36. It follows that the selection method that Harrit et al actually used can and does yield chips that have chemically different compositions. This refutes #4.
You speak of "several species of chips found yet after multiple tests, selected a set of very consistent chips?" - but which "multiple tests", beyond the two I state on #4 and #35, did they in fact employ to "selected a set of ... chips"? Please name the tests, and for each test, tell me which chips of the set they used to form their conclusions that test was applied to!
Magnet test: all samples
visual inspection: all samples
photomicrographs: all samples
BSE images: all samples
SEM images: all samples
XEDS graphs: all samples
XEDS maps: MEK chip and sample 1
DSC tests: 3 samples
Mass/energy calcs: all sample and comparative explosives
Volume/energy calcs: all sample and comparative explosives

post-burn residues comparison using:
visual inspection: at least 1 sample
photomicrographs: spheroid extracted from dust, spheroid extracted from burning test sample, and sample extracted from burning a known nanothermite.
XEDS graphs: spheroid extracted from dust, spheroid extracted from burning test sample, and sample extracted from burning a known nanothermite.

There, I did your homework for you. You have no excuse to go on with your lame reasons for trying to reject the conclusions here.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
----------------------------
Now there were some points that you disagreed with more or less, but I'll leave them for later (my football team is leading at half time on the league leader's turf - that's more important now!). Just to number them:

15. Since the gray layer is considered to be inert, it (the iron oxide it consists of) is still there after the chip burned
Show me where this happened.


[quote=Oystein;10542916]17. For a material to be called "thermitic", we should expect that the thermite reaction is the "dominating" reaction; it ought to provide a "very significant" percentage of the exotherm/heat/power that is observed.

If that makes you feel better. Are you writing legislation about this material and must be sure that the “dominating reaction” ought to be “thermitic” in order to count as a reason this material could have caused the buildings to fail? Silliness.


Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
22. Harrit et al make no claim that the red-gray chips "explode" or are "explosive"
Who cares if they said the “e” word or not? How do you suppose that changes anything?

To recap: your argument that “they are not analysing the same materials, hence we cannot draw damning conclusions from this work” is hardly serious. If all the analytical techniques they used to compare these samples were not enough to see these samples represent the same material, you just have a comprehension problem.

Any differences in the materials analysed are trivial in comparison to the over-arching verification of multiple data sets as well as the predictive power of the thermitic theory. The thermitic theory predicts free aluminium in the matrix, which is confirmed by the MEK chip. It predicts molten iron as a by-product, which is confirmed by the burn tests and corresponding micrographs, XEDS maps and comparisons with known nanothermite and a WTC dust microsphere. The comparative morphology aligns, the uniformity of the Fe2O3 particles can only be accounted for by a necessity for surface area. Again, fitting the “thermitic theory.”

When compared to a known nanothermite, it out-performs it. An argument against these conclusions is an exercise in arguing with a creation scientist. You must be extremely unscientific to deny the conclusions given here.

And, just for the sake of argument, let us entertain your completely outlandish premise that there are mutliple materials being examined which do not have the same properties, how do you account for any thermitic material in the WTC dust which produces iron microspheres which match those of both a known nanothermite as well as the microspheres found in the WTC dust?

It's like saying, “well, she was only raped once before she was murdered. Let's not jump to conclusions and suppose the rapist did this.” Yes, we should jump to that conclusion. That is the appropriate conclusion to jump to.
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