International Journal of Fracture

, Volume 132, Issue 2, pp L25–L26 | Cite as

September 11 And Fracture Mechanics - A Retrospective



The present letter advances the concept of self-sustaining fracture--or, shorter,the self-destruction--the concept introduced in the author’s book, as the mechanism and cause of the large scale destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. When initiated, this type of fracture, specific for overstressed structures, propagates by fracture waves at the speed of sound and turns material into debries and dust. Note that it has been known for a long time in connection with applications to deep mining. This letter is a shortened version of the full text available at


September 11 Trade Center destruction overstressed structures self-sustaining fracture fracture wave 


  1. Cherepanov, G.P. 1979Mechanics of Brittle FractureMcGraw-HillNew York950 pp.Google Scholar
  2. G.P.Cherepanov and I.E.Esparragoza, Destruction Mechanics: Self-Destruction, Keynote Lectures Extended Abstracts, ICF11, Turin, Italy (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Genady P. CherepanovMiamiUSA

Personalised recommendations