Science-based 9/11 animation created

June 13, 2007

U.S. scientists have created a science-based animation of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center twin towers.

Although most people say they believe they know what brought down the towers, Purdue University civil engineers want to better understand specifically what happened to prevent future structural failures.

The animation depicts how a plane tore through several stories of the World Trade Center's north tower within a half-second, showing how the weight of the fuel acted as a flash flood of flaming liquid, knocking out essential structural columns within the building and removing fireproofing insulation from other support structures.

"The crashes and computer models you often see on television are not scientifically accurate," said Assistant Professor Voicu Popescu, who developed an application that automatically translates simulation data into a 3-D animation scene. "This provides an alternative that is useful to the non-expert but is also scientifically accurate, so it provides a more realistic picture of the event."

The animation can be seen at
www.cs.purdue.edu/cgvlab/papers/popescu/popescuWTCVIS07.mov.>

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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