Howitt, David. The Auger Analysis Of Arc Beads: A Hypothesis Still To
Be Proven. The National Fire and Arson Report. December, 1997. p. 3+
Abstract: This is an opinion paper written by an expert in the
field of chemistry. The author strongly disagrees with the theory that arc
beads will have different compositions when they cause fires than when they
are the result of fires. The auger analysis hypothesis proposes that oxygen,
which accumulates when copper is melted, can be examined and will explain
the atmospheric conditions at the time of the arc. From a scientific viewpoint,
the author claims there is no evidence to support the hypothesis that any
gas is trapped when copper melts. The author suggests that the exact opposite
process actually happens - oxygen is expelled from melting copper.
The article explains several other scientific faults with the auger hypothesis.
The author states that research in this area is futile because there are
too many variables concerning the amount of oxidation with regard to fire
conditions. Before the hypothesis can be taken seriously, some evidence
must be produced proving that gases are absorbed in measurable quantities
by molten copper and aluminum and that gases react more rapidly with molten
copper and aluminum.