Niels Holger Harrit, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry

København Universitet
Copenhagen University

This web site is a gift to Dr. Niels Harrit, from admirers of his work.  As a scientist, he allows us to
post his impressive credentials and publications, as long as this site focuses on his work, not himself.
The purpose is to help people to better understand and verify his research, leading to new studies.


Vitae / Resume Summary:
Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, 1975, Thesis: mechanistic photochemistry
Post Doctorate, Columbia University, New York, 1977
Master of Science, Chemistry, Max-Planck-Institute for Strahlenchemi, Mulheim an der Ruhr, Germany


Bentham Open Chemistry & Physics Journal
Volume 2    ISSN: 1874-4125

Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe
pp.7-31 (25) Authors:
Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley, Bradley R. Larsen


We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples we have studied of the dust produced by the destruction of the World Trade Center. Examination of four of these samples, collected from separate sites, is reported in this paper. These red/gray chips show marked similarities in all four samples. One sample was collected by a Manhattan resident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later. The properties of these chips were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The red material contains grains approximately 100 nm across which are largely iron oxide, while aluminum is contained in tiny plate-like structures. Separation of components using methyl ethyl ketone demonstrated that elemental aluminum is present. The iron oxide and aluminum are intimately mixed in the red material. When ignited in a DSC device the chips exhibit large but narrow exotherms occurring at approximately 430 °C, far below the normal ignition temperature for conventional thermite. Numerous iron-rich spheres are clearly observed in the residue following the ignition of these peculiar red/gray chips. The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic.

Photos of microscopic nano-thermitic material found in dust from the World Trade Center collapse on September 11, 2001

Research Team

Steven E. Jones, PhD Professor Emeritus of Physics with Brigham Young University and
  known for his work in muon-catalyzed fusion, published in Nature, Scientific American, and Journal of Physical Chemistry,
B.S. in Physics, Mathematics minor, magna cum laude with honors, from Brigham Young University in 1973,
  retaining the Presidential (David O. McKay) Scholarship.
Ph.D. in Physics, Mathematics/Electronics minors from Vanderbilt University in 1978,
   retaining full Tuition Scholarship and Research Fellowship (1973-1978).
Ph.D. research conducted at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (1974-1977); course work completed at Stanford University. 
Post-doctoral research conducted at Cornell University (CESR) and the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility.

Jeffrey Farrer, Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Minnesota
Director of the TEM (Transmition Electron Microscopy) laboratory at BYU

Kevin R. Ryan Chemist, former Underwriters Laboratories manager 

Frank M. Legge, PhD Chemistry, Logical Systems Consulting, Perth, Western Australia.

Daniel Farnsworth PhD candidate, Physics, Brigham Young University

Gregg Roberts BA Psychology, UT Austin, 1990

James R. Gourley  B.S.  Chemical Engineering, University of Oklahoma, graduated with Special Distinction

Bradley R. Larsen, MS Geology


Videos and Articles about Dr. Harrit and his research

A danish scientist Niels Harrit, on nano-thermite in the WTC dust ( english subtitles )
A danish scientist Niels Harrit, on nano-thermite in the WTC dust ( ...
Niels Harrit and 8 other scientists found nano-thermite in the dust from the World Trade Center. He is interviewed on danish TV2 News. People can ...


9/11 truth in MSM, Niels Harrit talks about WTC 7 on TV2 in december 2007. ( english subs )
9/11 truth in MSM, Niels Harrit talks about WTC 7 on TV2 ...
Professor in chemistry Niels Harrit and Jakob Hede Madsen interviewed on TV2 - Denmarks largest TV channel. Talks about the Truth movement, and ...
Niels Harrit  on Alex Jones Tv (HD) 1/2:Nano-Thermite Found in WTC Dust !!
Niels Harrit on Alex Jones Tv (HD) 1/2:Nano- ...
Niels Harrit has been Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, for 37 years.
Dr. Niels Harrit gives a lecture on Active Thermitic Material 1/7
Dr. Niels Harrit gives a lecture on Active Thermitic Material 1/7
Dr. Niels Harrit is working at the University of Copenhagen, in the Department of Chemistry. He is an expert in nano-chemistry, and has been ...
Niels Harrit presenting evidence for nano-thermite in WTC, on GoodMorning Denmark ( English Subs )
Niels Harrit presenting evidence for nano-thermite in WTC, on GoodMorning Denmark ( ...
Niels Harrit and 8 other scientists found nano-thermite in the dust from the World Trade Center. For better results with customized versions of ...
Niels Harrit igen gæst i Go´Morgen Danmark d.8/4-09
Niels Harrit igen gæst i Go´Morgen Danmark d.8/4- ...
Niels Harrit, lektor i kemi ved Københavns universitet, er gæst ved Go´Morgen danmark, hvor han medbringer beviser for nanotermit ved World Trade ...
  Did nano-thermite take down the WTC? - RussiaToday

Reference: Interview with German web site  2009-05-24

Dr. Niels Harrit:: "My master degree, which I earned in 1971, was based on the work I did for one year at Max-Planck-Institut für Strahlenchemie, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany. My doctor thesis from 1975 from University of Copenhagen was in mechanistic photochemistry. I spent a year at Columbia University, New York City as post doc. in 1977.  I teach organic chemistry, photochemistry and photophysics to nanoscience students and chemistry students. I supervise master students and Ph.D. students.

I enclose my list of publications. My latest paper is currently "Hot paper of the month" in Angewandte Chemie, one of the world's most leading journals of chemistry. I am a senior member of a "Centre of Excellence" Molecular Movies where I mostly work with physicists on time resolved X-ray scattering. This centre is a subdivision of the Nano-Science Center at the University of Copenhagen, of which I have been a faculty member since it started in 2001.

List of Publications


  1. Pyrylium Salts and Hydroxylamine in Acid Medium. Synthesis of Pyridine N-Oxides from Pyrylium Salts.” N. Harrit, C.L. Pedersen and O. Buchardt, Acta Chemica Scandinavica 24 (1970) 3435-3443.

  2. Light-Induced Ring Expansion of Pyridine N-Oxides.” O. Buchardt, C.L. Pedersen and N. Harrit, Journal of Organic Chemistry. 37 (1972) 3592-3595.

  3. Detection of Transients in Low-temperature Photochemistry of 4-Phenyl-1,3,2-oxathiazolyio-5-oxide by Ultraviolet and Electron Spin Resonance Spectrometry.” A. Holm, N. Harrit, K. Bechgaard, O. Buchardt, and S. Harnung, Chem.Commun. 1972, 1125.

  4. The Photochemical Behavior of Aromatic 1,2-Diazine-N-Oxides.” K.B. Tomer, N. Harrit, I. Rosenthal, O. Buchardt, P.L. Kumler and D. Creed, .J.Am.Chem.Soc. 95 (1973) 7402-7406.

  5. Photochemical Rearrangement of 3-Methyl-2-methylthio-5-phenyl-(1,3-thiazol-4-ylio)oxide to 3-Methyl-4-methylthio-5-phenyl-1,3-thiazol-2-one.” O. Buchardt, J. Domanus, N. Harrit, A. Holm, G. Isaksson and J. Sandström, Chem. Commun. 1974, 376-377.

  6. “Photolyse af 4-Phenyl-1,3,2-oxathiazolylio-5-oxid. Mekanisme og metode.” Licentiatafhandling. 215 sider. Kemisk Laboratorium II, H.C.Ørsted Institutet, Københavns Universitet 1975.

  7. Photochemistry of Thiatriazoles. Benzonitrile Sulphide as Intermediate in the Photolysis of Phenyl-Substituted 1,2,3,4-Thiatriazole, 1,3,2-Oxathiazolylio-5-oxide and 1,3,4-Oxathiazole-2-one.” A. Holm, N. Harrit and N.H. Toubro, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 97 (1975) 6197-6201.

  8. The Photocycloaddition of Cyclohexene to Carbostyrils.” O. Buchardt, J. J. Christensen and N. Harrit, Acta Chemica Scandinavica B30 (1976) 189-192.

  9. Oxathiiranes as Intermediates in the Photolysis of Sulfines.” L. Carlsen, N. Harrit and A. Holm, J. Chem. Soc. Perkin Trans. I, 1976, 1404-1408.

  10. On the mechanism of Photolysis of 4-Phenyl-1,3,2-oxathiazolylio-5-oxide in ethanol. Evidence for Ketene Intermediates.” A. Holm, N. Harrit and N.H. Toubro, Tetrahedron 32 (1976) 2559-2563.

  11. Enviromental Effects as a Determining Factor in Photochemical reactions: Photolysis of matrix-isolated 4-Phenyl-1,3,2-oxathiazolylio-5-oxide.” I.R. Dunkin, M. Poliakoff, J.J. Turner, N. Harrit and A. Holm, Tetr. Letters 1976, 873-876.

  12. Photoinduced Ring Opening and COS Elimination of Mesoionic Thiadiazoles.” A. Holm, N.H. Toubro and N. Harrit, Tetr. Lett. 1976, 1909-1912.

  13. Photolysis of 1,2,5-Selenadiazoles. Formation of Nitrile Selenides.” N. Harrit, C.L. Pedersen, M. Poliakoff and I. Dunkin, Acta Chemica Scandinavica B31 (1977) 848-858.

  14. Strong Evidence for Thiazirines as Stable Intermediates at Cryogenic Temperature in the Photolytic Formation of Nitrile Sulfides from Aryl Substituted 1,2,3,4-Thiatriazole, Thiatriazole-3-oxide and 1,3,4-Oxathiazol-2-one.” A. Holm, N. Harrit and I. Trabjerg, J. Chem. Soc. Perkin I 1978, 746-750.

  15. Evidence from the Absorption and Emission Spectra of Trimethylenemethane Derivatives for two Molecular Species in Thermal Equilibrium.” N. Harrit, N. Turro, M.J. Mirbach, J.A. Berson and M. Platz, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 100 (1978) 7653-7658.

  16. Photoinduced Ring Opening and Fragmentation of Isomeric Mesoinic Anhydro-4(5)-hydroxythiazolium Hydroxides and of Anhydro-5-hydroxy-3-methyl-2-phenyloxazolium Hydroxides.” N.H.Toubro, B. Hansen, N. Harrit, A. Holm and K.T. Potts, Tetrahedron 35 (1979) 229-231.

  17. Absence of Triazirine Intermediates in the Photolytic Formation of azides from Mesoionic 3-Substituted 1,2,3,4-Oxathiazolylio-5-oxides.” C. Bjerre, C. Christophersen, B. Hansen, N. Harrit, F.M. Nicolaisen and A. Holm, Tetrahedron 35 (1979) 409-411.

  18. Photolysis of 1,2,3-Selenadiazole. Formation of Selenirene by Secondary Photolysis of Selenoketene.” N. Harrit, S. Rosenkilde, B. D. Larsen and A. Holm, J. Chem. Soc. Perkin I 1985, 907-911.

  19. Viscosity-dependent Fluorescence and Low-temperature Photochemistry of Mesoionic 4-Phenyl-1,3,2-oxathiazolylium-5-olate.” N. Harrit, A. Holm, I. Dunkin, M. Poliakoff and J.J. Turner, J. Chem. Soc. Perkin II 1987, 1227-1238.

  20. On Selenoketenes. Formation of 1,3,4-Selenodiazoline from Carbodiselenide and Diazoalkanes.” R.H. Berg, N. Harrit, E. Larsen and A. Holm, Acta Chemica Scandinavica 43 (1989) 885-887.

  21. Pregnancy Zone Protein, a Proteinase Binding Macroglobulin. Interactions with Proteinase Binding Macroglobulin. Interactions with Proteinases and Methylamine.” U. Christensen, M. Simonsen, N. Harrit and L. Sottrup-Jensen, Biochemistry, 28 (1989) 9324-9331.

  22. Mixed-function-oxygenase in Juvenile rainbow Trout Exposed to Hexachlorobenzene or 3,3’,4,4’-tetrachlorobiphenyl.” H. Tyle, M. Egsmose and N. Harrit, Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 100 (1991) 161-164.

  23. Pregnancy Zone Protein, a Proteinase Binding -Macroglobulin. Stopped-flow Kinetic Studies of its Interaction with Chymotrypsin.” U. Christensen, L. Sottrup-Jensen and N. Harrit, Biochem. Biophys. Acta, 1076 (1991) 91-96.

  24. The Peroxide Chemistry of triaryl Substituted Imidazoles. Fenflumizole, a Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory Agent.” P.L. Frandsen, K. Håkansson, A. Holm and N. Harrit, Acta Chemica Scandinavica 45 (1991) 627-631.

  25. Photolysis of N-2,4,6-Trinitrophenyl Substituted Amino Acids.” J. Frederiksen, B.D. Larsen and N. Harrit, Tetrahedron Lett. 32 (1991) 5823.

  26. Photolysis of 1,2,3-Thiadiazole. Formation of Thiirene by Secondary Photolysis of Thioketene.” B.D. Larsen, N. Harrit, H. Eggert and A. Holm, Acta Chem. Scand. 46 (1992) 482-486.

  27. Two Different Ca2+ Ion Binding Sites in Factor VIIa and in Des(1-38) factor VIIa.” J. Schiødt, N. Harrit, U. Christensen and L. Petersen, FEBS Letters, 306 (1992) 265-268.

  28. Correlations Between the Rate Constant of Singlet Oxygen Quenching by Imidazole Derivatives and Anti-inflammatory Activity in Rats.” R.V. Bensasson, J. Frederiksen, M. Rougée, D. Lexa and N. Harrit, Mol. Pharmacol. 42 (1992) 718-722.

  29. Synthesis of New Sulfur Heteroaromatics Isoelectronic with Dibenzo[g,p]chrysene by Photocyclization of Thienyl- and Phenyl-Substituted Ethenes.” E. Fischer, J. Larsen, J.B. Christensen, M. Fourmigué, H.G. Madsen and N. Harrit, J. Org. Chem. 61, (1996) 6997-7005.

  30. Ordering of the Disk-like 2,3,6,7,10,11-Hexakis(hexylthio)triphenylene in Solution and at Liquid-Solid Interface.” Gabriel, J.-C., Larsen, N.B., Larsen, M., Harrit, N., Pedersen, J.S., Schaumburg, K. and Bechgaard, K. Langmuir 12 (1996) 1690-1692.

  31. Photoconductivity of Langmuir-Blodgett Films of Corbathiene.” A. Komolov, K. Schaumburg and N. Harrit, Thin Solid Films 293 (1997) 159.

  32. Photophysical properties of 2,3,6,7,10,11-Hexakis(n-hexylsulfonyl)triphe-nylene and 2,3,6,7,10,11-Hexakis(n-hexylsulfonyl)triphenylene in solution.” D. Baunsgaard, M. Larsen, N. Harrit, J. Frederiksen, R. Wilbrandt, H. Stapelfeldt, J.Chem.Soc., Faraday Trans., 93 (1997) 1893-1901.

  33. Fluorescein-Conjugated Lysine Monomers for Solid Phase Synthesis of Fluorescent Peptides and PNA Oligomers.” J. Lohse, P.E. Nielsen, N. Harrit and O. Dahl, Bioconjugate Chem. 8 (1997) 503-509.

  34. Synthesis, Structure, and Fluorescence Properties of 5,17-Distyryl-25,26,27,28-tetrapropoxycalix[4]arenes in the Cone Conformation.” Mogens Larsen, Frederik C. Krebs, Mikkel Jørgensen, og Niels Harrit, J.Org.Chem., 63 (1998) 4420-4424.

  35. 2,6,10-Tris(dialkylamino)trioxatriangulenium Ions. Synthesis, Structure, and Properties of Exceptionally Stable Carbenium Ions.Bo W. Laursen, Frederik C. Krebs, Merete F. Nielsen, Klaus Bechgaard, Jørn B. Christensen, and Niels Harrit, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 120 (1998) 12255 –12263.

  36. Vibronic Activity in the Phosphorescence Spectra of Disklike Aromatic Molecules: A Combined Experimental and Theoretical Investigation.” D. Baunsgaard, N. Harrit, M. El Balsami, F. Negri, G. Orlandi, J. Frederiksen and R. Wilbrandt, J. Phys. Chem. A, 102 (1998) 10007 –10016.

  37. The Phosphorescence Spectra of Triphenylene and Truxene: A Combined Experimental and Theoretical Investigation of The Vibronic Structure.” D. Baunsgaard, M. El Balsami, J. Frederiksen, N. Harrit, F. Negri, G. Orlandi and R. Wilbrandt, Laser Chemistry, 19 (1999) 349-351.

  38. Synthesis and conformational studies of a series of 5,17-bis-aryl-25,26,27,28-tetrapropoxycalix[4]arenes: The influence of - interactions on the molecular structure.” Mogens Larsen, Frederik C. Krebs, Niels Harrit, and Mikkel Jørgensen. J.Chem.Soc.Perkin Trans. 2, 1999, 1749-1757.

  39. ”Vibrational spectroscopic and quantum chemical studies of the trioxatriangulenium carbocation.” Johannes Reynisson, G. Balakrishnan, Niels Harrit, and Robert Wilbrandt. J.Mol.Struct., 520, 2000, 63-73.

  40. “Structural properties of DNO investigated with pyrene excimer formation.” Johannes Reynisson, Lise Vejby-Christensen, Robert Wilbrandt, Niels Harrit, Rolf H. Berg, J. Pept. Sci. 6, 2000, 603-611.

  41. Synthesis of a Hoechst 32258 Analogue Amino Acid Building Block for Direct Incorporation of a Fluorescent, High-Affinity DNA Binding Motif into Peptides.” Carsten Behrens, Niels Harrit, Peter E. Nielsen, Bioconjugate Chem. 12 (2001) 1021-1027.

  42. Photophysics of Trioxatriangulenium ion. Electrophilic reactivity in the ground state and excited singlet state.“ Jóhannes Reynisson, Niels Harrit, Robert Wilbrandt, Vibeke Brinck, Bo W. Laursen, Kasper Nørgaard, and Albert M. Brouwer, Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences 1 (2002) 763-773.

  43. “System and Method for the Classification of Biological Samples and their Diagnostic Potential”, Lars Nørgård, Morten Albrechtsen, Ole Olsen, Niels Harrit og Rasmus Bro-Jørgensen, Patent (WO2001092859).

  44. Redox regulation of gene expression of chemoprotective enzymes and of chemoprotection against inflammation and carcinogenesis.“ Vincent Zoete, John Frederiksen, Niels Harrit, Rodger Scurlock, Michel Rougée and René V. Bensasson, Free Radical Research, 36 (2002) 111-114.

  45. Intercalation of Trioxatriangulenium Ion (TOTA+) in DNA: Binding, Electron Transfer, X-Ray Crystallography, and Electronic Structure.” Jóhannes Reynisson, Gary B. Schuster, Sheldon B. Howerton, Loren D. Williams, Robert N. Barrnett, Charles L. Cleveland, Uzi Landman, Niels Harrit and Jonathan B. Chaires, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 125 (2003) 2072-2083

  46. Novel Synthesis of Protected Thiol End-Capped Stilbenes and Oligo(phenylenevinylene)s (OPVs).” Nicolai Stuhr-Hansen, Jørn B. Christensen, Niels Harrit, and Thomas Bjørnholm, J. Org. Chem., 68 (2003) 1275-1282.

  47. Oligodeoxynucleotides Containing -L-ribo­ configured LNA-type C-aryl Nucleosides: Synthesis and Properties as a Universal Base.” B. Ravindra Babu Raunak, Mads D. Sørensen, Virinder S. Parmar, Niels H. Harrit and Jesper Wengel, Organic & Biomolecular Chem. (RSC), 2 (2004) 80-89.

  48. Spectroscopic Properties of Sintered BaMgAl10O17:Eu2+ (BAM)
    Translucent Pellets. Comparison with Commercial Powder.” E. Zych, W. Goetz, N. Harrit and H. Spanggaard, J. Alloys and Compounds, 380 (2004) 113-117.

  49. 2,6,10-Tris(dialkylamino)-­trioxa­triangule­nium salts - a new promising fluorophore. Ion-pair formation and aggregation in non-polar solvents.” Bo W. Laursen, Jóhannes Reynisson, Kurt V. Mikkelsen, Klaus Bechgaard and Niels Harrit, Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences (RSC), 4 (2005) 568-576.

  50. Fluorescent Pyrene-Functionalized 2’Amino-LNAs for Nucleic Acid detection in Homogenous Assays.” Patrick J. Hrdlicka, B. Ravindra Babu, Mads D. Sørensen, Niels Harrit, and Jesper Wengel, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 127 (2005) 13293 – 13299.

  51. Expanding the Optical Trapping Range of Gold Nanoparticles.” Poul Martin Hansen, Vikram Kjøller Bhatia, Niels Harrit, and Lene Oddershede, Nano Letters, 5 (2005) 1937 – 1942.

  52. " Fluorescence spectroscopy and chemometrics for classification of breast cancer samples-a feasibility study using extended canonical variates analysis." Lars Nørgaard, Gyorgy, Soletormos, Niels Harrit, Morten Albrechtsen, Ole, Olsen, Dorte Nielsen, Kristoffer Kampmann, and Rasmus Bro, Journal of Chemometrics (2007), 21, 451-458..

  53. "Close Columnar Packing of Triangulenium Ions in Langmuir Films." Jens B. Simonsen, Kristian Kjaer, Paul Howes, Kasper Norgaard, Thomas Bjornholm, Niels Harrit, Bo W. Laursen, Langmuir 25 (2009) 3584-3592.

  54. "Time-resolved X-ray scattering of an electronically excited state in solution. Structure of the 3A(2u) state of tetrakis-mu-pyrophosphitodiplatinate(II)." Morten Christensen, Kristoffer Haldrup, Klaus Bechgaard, Robert Feidenhans'l, Qingyu Kong, Marco Cammarata, Manuela Lo Russo, Michael Wulff, Niels Harrit, Martin Meedom Nielsen, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131 (2009) 502-8.

  55. "Structural Tracking of a Bimolecular Reaction in Solution by Time-Resolved X-ray Scattering." Kristoffer Haldrup, Morten Christensen, Marco Cammarata, Qingyu Kong, Michael Wulff, Simon O. Mariager, Klaus Bechgaard, Robert Feidenhans'l, Niels Harrit*, Martin M. Nielsen*. Angewandte Chemie. 2009. "Hot paper" pre-published on the web:

  56. "Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe." Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley and Bradley R. Larsen, The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2 (2009) 7 – 31.


  1. "9/11 - A roadblock or a shortcut to peace and democracy?" Niels H. Harrit,
    Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, March 16, 2008

    Papers published in Acta Chemica Scandinavika by Niels Harrit



under construction

Why didn't the World Trade Center towers look something more like this?

Photo of 4 ton steel ejected 600 feet (3628 kg flew horizontally 182 meters)
from the World Trade Center North Tower, along with concrete dust,
at approximately 55 miles per hour (88 kilometers per hour)
with enough force to embed beams in neighboring buildings
like pushing an automobile 2 football fields within 10 seconds

Inspiring words from Dr. Niels Harrit, PhD
If you fight you might lose.
If you don't, you have already lost.

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See Also

Why didn't the WTCs look like this after the jets hit them?