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Friday, November 21, 2008

I've Had this Pet Project Going on for Several Years and I'd Like to Enlist You to Join Me

I have always wanted to blow up the earth. You know, have that ultimate control in my hands.
Well, my astute daughter just sent me this Link on how I might accomplish this.

"How to Blow Up the Earth

You will need: 25,000,000,000,000 tonnes of antimatter.
Method: This method involves detonating a bomb so big that it blasts the Earth to pieces.
This, to say the least, requires a big bomb. All the explosives mankind has ever created, nuclear or non-, gathered together and detonated simultaneously, would make a significant crater and wreck the planet's ecosystem, but barely scratch the surface of the planet. There is evidence that in the past, asteroids have hit the Earth with the explosive yield of five billion Hiroshima bombs - and such evidence is difficult to find. It is, in short, insanely difficult to significantly alter the Earth's structure with explosives. This is not to mention the gravity problem. Just because you blasted the Earth apart doesn't mean you blasted it apart for good. If you don't blast it hard enough, the pieces will fall back together again under mutual gravitational attraction, and Earth, like the liquid metal Terminator, will reform from its shattered shards. You have to blow the Earth up hard enough to overcome that attraction.
How hard is that?
If you do the lengthy calculations you find that to liberate that much energy is equivalent to the complete annihilation of around 1,246,400,000,000 tonnes of antimatter. That's assuming zero energy loss to heat, neutrinos and radiation, which is unlikely to be the case in reality: You'll probably need to up the dose by at least a factor of twenty. Once you've generated your antimatter, probably in space, just launch it en masse towards Earth. The resulting release of energy (obeying Einstein's famous mass-energy equation, E=mc2) should be sufficient to split the Earth into a thousand pieces.
Greg Bear's novel, "The Forge Of God", contains an interesting refinement of this technique. Here, the antagonist instead generates antimatter in the form of a "slug" of anti-neutronium - superdense material massing a billion kilograms per cubic centimetre. This is fired into the Earth's core. Neutronium passes through ordinary matter as easily as a ball flies through the air, so the anti-neutronium slug doesn't annihilate immediately; rather, it builds up a protective sheath of plasma around it as it plunges downwards towards the Earth's core. It's then followed up by a slug of regular neutronium, which also falls into the core, at a time calculated to meet the first slug head-on at the exact centre of the Earth, where they annihilate themselves, and soon afterwards, the Earth itself. Highly space-efficient, and with the added bonus of all the energy being released at the Earth's core, where it can do the most damage. In the book, the antagonists simultaneously detonate nuclear warheads in certain oceanic trenches, to weaken the crust and allow the planet to be blown apart more easily.
Rearranging Earth into two planets - which, provisionally, is sufficient according to my current criteria - would take slightly less energy, but considerably more finesse.
Earth's final resting place: A second asteroid belt around the Sun.
Comments: trembling writes, "I still think that antimatter is crazy s**t, i.e. wouldn't want it on my flapjacks". Charles MacGee presents a very well-realised alternate source of explosives in his blog; this method involves generating the explosive energy by fusing together the lighter elements of Earth's mantle (magnesium and oxygen). Of course, this would involve the invention of an efficient magnesium fusion bomb. And then turning all of the Earth's mantle into bombs. How implausible! Well. Implausibility is a relative thing.
Feasibility rating: 4/10. Just about slightly possible."

let's get crackin'!


  1. Wee,

    Sadly, Mrs. Frog says the same thing. :(

    For the first 15 years of our marriage, she would often ask, "Why do you need to know why it works?"

    It turned out that her extro and my intro balanced out fairly well.

    But there have been, "those days." :>

  2. Wee,
    Also, to be frank, I am the one in one hundred million trained in engineering that is a good cook.

    I think she percieved that as one of my redeeming qualities.

    And I do my own laundry.

  3. Bah. Why blow it up?

    Just make a tiny singularity anywhere on earth: it'll fall through normal matter to the centre of the earth and from there you can watch the planet implode.

    Much easier, much more complete, and you end up with a black hole, which can then be reused on other planets, which is very ecofriendly: no surplus waste to dispose of.

  4. PS: EA's Spore might have been the biggest disappointment of the century (it had so much potential [/whine]), but the planet buster is coooollll...

  5. Quasar,
    That's a good idea. I definitley want to bring that up at the next meeting.

    You in?

    If you are, I'll teach you the secret handshake.

  6. Q,
    I wuz kinda wondering how you were gonna "make a singularity?"

    That seems a bit much.

  7. Three words: Large. Hadron. Collider.

  8. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/sep/08/particlephysics.physics

  9. Froggie,

    That link you posted is my new favorite website. My only qualm is that I would prefer the Earth to be destroyed in a manner the physics of which I understand. Otherwise the annihilation of our planet would be like an absurd po-mo film where everyone dies, and you're left with three words scrolling endlessly through your mind...

    What... the... fuck...

  10. Bah, it looks like he beat me to it: the microscopic black hole is number 3 on the list.

  11. A new gem from Verandoug that has a bit of relevance to this post, a reply to steven j.:

    "If I understand this correctly, that is exactly what is being proposed. It makes sense that an infinite God would have created a whole lot more than this 14 billion year old universe.

    I personally believe that this particular universe was created for the sole purpose of destroying the works of darkness and evil."

    So, either God created a whole bunch of universes with evil in them and then decides that in only one of them should evil be destroyed. Makes no sense.
    Or, he created only one of them (ours) with evil in it, because he could then see its destruction, which he knew beforehand down to the last molecule how it would play out. Makes no sense either.

    People like veraslashdoug, erikloza and some others really are swamp creatures. I wish people could just step outside themselves for a few minutes and actually observe how utterly moronic they appear to someone with a rationally functioning brain. It would be a tremendous improvement if they could ascend to at least thinking before writing 60% of the time.

  12. Actually I like the idea of splitting the earth into two planets. We could then put the godhogs on one and we can have the other.

    It'll be interesting to see who goes extict first.

  13. I was actualy in a good mood until you mentioned Vera.

    She has absolute PROOF, yes, absolute, proof that the bible predicted all of science and her and Hugh Ross are the only two people in the universe that understand this.

    Then she had the audacity to tell me she understands the scientific method.

    She is a perfect case study in self delusion.

  14. And the hubris!

    Verandoug said:
    "Every single time someone on this list that is an atheist sends an argument in my direction, I seem to know where to find the answer."

  15. How much does a Death Star cost? You never know, you might be able to pick one up from eBay second hand.

    Failing that, I've always liked the idea of setting up a lasing cavity between the sun and the earth and just boiling the planet away. (not my idea, thank you xkcd :))


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