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Mystery of magnetism offers a clue to Twin Towers collapse

Sabina Griffith

Materials experts at UKAEA Culham have identified for the first time the processes that cause the weakening of steel in tall buildings, such as in the World Trade Center fire of September 11th 2001. The new findings are published in two papers by researchers from UKAEA's nuclear fusion laboratory at Culham near Oxford, UK. Materials experts at UKAEA Culham are identifying the principles for designing special steels for use in future fusion power stations. Their work shows that the same microscopic magnetic processes which affect the strength of materials in fusion reactors are responsible for the collapse of tall buildings if the steel structures are exposed to high temperatures.

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