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Thread: Air, almost nothing.

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    Advisor LeBrok's Avatar
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    Air, almost nothing.

    Did you ever wonder how heavy the air is? This ubiquitous, almost nothing, elusive to touch, light like a balloon thing that surrounds us.
    It turns that air weighs a bit over 1 kg per 1 square centimeter. It is a column of air rising from the ground, one centimeter by one centimeter across (size of a cent, penny), and about 100 km high.
    A lot or not much, maybe what you expected?
    If we expend this column to be 1 meter by 1 meter wide the air would weight 10,000kg, 10 tons of air pressing on one square meter of ground. It adds up quickly, ha? It is an equivalent of two big fat elephants sitting on every square meter of ground.
    Let's expend this column of air on one squire kilometer next. How much does the air weighs now? Try 10 billion kilograms, 10 million tons of air.
    City of Paris is 105km2 big. It means that Paris is pressed down by over 1 billion tons of air. That's like 250 million elephants sitting on Paris, two on every square meter.
    Let's scale up some more. Our Earth's surface is 510 million square kilometers. Now multiply it by 10 billion kg, it will give us staggering 5,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms of weight. How do we call this number? 5 quintillion kilograms of air or 5 quadrillion tons.
    That's a lot of air!

    Let's compare it to something heavy.
    Weight of all the gold, that have been mined, on earth is 165,000,000 kg. That's only 40 thousand elephants of gold. It's relatively heavy though, and because of it, it could fit inside one big house, but heavy that we would need a big Emma Maersk ship to transport it all.
    All the iron on earth, that was mined so far, weighs around 100 billion tons, that's enough to build 10 million Eiffel towers. But it is still 50 thousand times lighter than the whole air. It weighs as much as air over island of Corsica.

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    Regular Member cycle's Avatar
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    So if air weighs 5 quadrillion tons
    and I weigh 95 Kilos
    I am lighter than air.

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    Advisor LeBrok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycle View Post
    So if air weighs 5 quadrillion tons
    and I weigh 95 Kilos
    I am lighter than air.
    Science calculated it by end of 19 century, people finely understood it (what you said), and humans started flying few year later.
    Understanding is truly uplifting in this case. :)

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    Elite member hope's Avatar
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    No wonder I take migraines then! Very interesting.

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