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Average Atomic mass of the human body?

  1. Sep 12, 2006 #1
    I was wondering average atomic mass is of a fully grown male human. What I mean by this is, if we consider the human body to be comprised of mainly Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and other trace elements like Calcium, Sodium, Phosphorus, etc. Is it possible to determine an estimate about what the mass of the average atom is in our body? I'm guessing it would be about as heavy as carbon, but maybe less since hydrogen is very prevalent biologically.

    My guess is the mass of the average atom in the human body is A = 10. Has anyone ever done a study of this, or is it too difficult to ascertain the proportions of atoms in our body? hmmm...
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 12, 2006 #2

    Gokul43201

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  4. Sep 12, 2006 #3

    chroot

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    Oooh. I'm carryin' around almost two pounds of phosphorus, am I? Surprising.

    - Warren
     
  5. Sep 12, 2006 #4
    Fantastic link, ty.

    Given the values cited, I'd estimate an average atom is about A =12, or carbon.

    Ya the nearly 1kg of Phosphorus is surprising to me too. Besides adenosine triphosphate, adenosine diphosphate and hyrogen phosphate, I can't think of any other bio molecules it would be found in. Anyone want to add to this list?
     
  6. Sep 12, 2006 #5

    Gokul43201

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    Your bones are mostly calcium phosphate. That's where I'd guess the majority of the phosphorus comes from.
     
  7. Sep 13, 2006 #6
  8. Sep 13, 2006 #7
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2006
  9. Sep 13, 2006 #8

    DaveC426913

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  10. Sep 13, 2006 #9
    DNA, RNA, NAD, NADP are all important and common cellular molecules that contain phosphorus.
     
  11. Sep 13, 2006 #10
    That is a very nice picture dave, you have a keen eye for displaying information in a clean and intuitive manner. When I have time I'll read more on your site.
     
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