Friday, December 21, 2012

The world has ended, but this blog rambles on.


In this timezone, it’s the 21st of December already, and the world has been destroyed.

Sorry guys, but the Mayans were right.  At 12:01 am, Eastern Australian Daylight time, this section of the world was destroyed.  The planet is disintegrating along the time-zone lines like the segments of an orange getting peeled off and tossed into a juicer.  Sorry folks, it’s all over.  And they didn’t even use my method for destroying the planet.

Fortunately, the super expensive Australian National Broadband Network is extensive and robust enough to survive this catastrophe, so I am still able to blog from the cosmic void.  It is getting cold and hard to breathe out here, but there are some benefits.  For example, without a globe there is no global warming.  And, in space, no-one can hear your neighbor throw up in the front lawn after a big night out.  And the big night will last forever.  Unfortunately, the nearest place to grab a drink is now the Saturnian moon Titan.  No word from the Mayans yet on when that baby is due to go.

2 comments:

Chris Phoenix said...

In that post, you recommend burying the earth in sperm whales to compress the mantle until it fuses.

3E4 kg per whale times 7E21 whales is 2E30 kg. The earth masses only 6E24 kg.

You state that fusing the mantle would provide about a million times the gravitational binding energy of the earth. But the sperm whales mass almost a million times as much. So you may need more digits of precision to make sure that the earth's explosion can blow away all the whales as well.

Actually, since the gravitational binding energy goes up as M^2/r, your proposal cannot work.

Unless, of course, the fusion of the mantle caused secondary fusion in the whale carcasses. That might provide enough extra energy...

:-)

Chuck said...

Well, perhaps that is why the Mayans chose a different method.

But to answer your question, the whales, which are mostly C, O, and H, will produce much more energy per kg when fused than the mantle will. The procedure involved simply piles on sperm whales until the Chandrasekhar limit is reached. At this point, the electron degeneracy pressure of the whales (by now compressed into a Sperm Whale White Dwarf (not to be confused with a dwarf sperm whale), or Moby Dick Star), can no longer support its mass, and it collapses into a runaway fusion reaction, creating a supernova. This sort if supernova happens all the time, but the intense heat breaks down the spermicetti, so that astronomers have a hard time finding direct evidence for cetacean contribution to white dwarf mass gain. If you want more details, ask a real astronomer.