Why the observed motion history of World Trade Center towers is smooth

Jia Liang Le, Zdeněk P. Bažant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The collapse of the World Trade Center towers was initiated by the impact of the upper falling part onto the underlying intact story. At the moment of impactthe velocity of the upper part must have decreased. The fact that no velocity decrease can be discerned in the videos of the early motion of the tower top has been recently exploited to claim that the collapse explanation generally accepted within the structural mechanics community was invalid. This claim is here shown to be groundless. Calculations show that the velocity drop is far too small to be perceptible in amateur video records and is much smaller than the inevitable error of such video records.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number005101QEM
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Volume137
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2010

Keywords

  • Collapse
  • Damage
  • Impact
  • Structural dynamics
  • Structural monitoring

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