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Science of Implosion

I talked to the head of the physics department at Utica College to understand both the technical side of the implosion and the dangers that come with it.

I talked to the head of the physics department at Utica College to understand both the technical side of the implosion and the dangers that come with it.

 

These dominos represent the Fay Street warehouse.

 

“This demonstration is going to be typical of a building implosion where the building falls in on its own footprint," said Physics professor Linda Dake.

 

That method is the hardest way to implode a building, using gravity to bring it right down.  The fay street warehouse won’t be coming straight down though.

 

They need it to fall to the west, away from the arterial.

 

"That’s more like chopping down a tree where you cut it away on the side you want it to fall towards, so it’s going to be more like this," said Dake.

 

The implosion of the Fay St. Warehouse will have dangers, some of which can’t be controlled and could impact the current arterial.

 

"That think would be the most likely is you would get some dust and maybe some small pieces on that arterial," said Dake.

 

She said that depends on the wind.

 

The other dangers could mean the building falling in the wrong direction onto the arterial.

 

"They're relying on the fact that they're making the weak spot and that thats the way its going to go and if the building has some hidden structural defect then it might go another way."

 

The contractor AED demolition has twenty seven years without a major accident though.

 

"They've dealt with bringing down much bigger buildings in much more congested areas," said Dake.

 

In the end she hopes that whatever the outcome of the implosion that it sparks interest in science.

 

"When you see this and how cool it is remember that all science is this cool and you can understand this sort of thing you don’t have to be afraid of science and think, 'ah it’s just for geeks,' I couldn’t understand that," said Dake.

 

Tomorrow on eyewitness news I’ll take you back inside the fay street warehouse for a look at how the big bang is going to help researchers with an experiment.

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