Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Crazy idea: How to destroy the earth

  1. Dec 25, 2015 #1
    While wondering whether a hardworking crackpot can do actual irreversible damage and obliterate the earth, I did get an idea from an old book, that says that something thrown at the escape velocity never returns. Hence it may be perfectly possible to use the available energy to throw the earth itself into space!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 26, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    Yeah but then you would be littering.
  4. Dec 28, 2015 #3
    Nah. Just hit it with a really big baseball bat.
  5. Dec 29, 2015 #4
    The idea of say, blasting the earth with a 'Big Gun' (This can be any form of impact of course) to accelerate it sufficiently to reach an escape velocity from the Solar gravitational field is extremely unlikely. It would be possible I reckon, to wobble the planet, slow or speed up its angular rotation etc. maybe even push its orbit slightly to somewhat more or less parabolic or a slightly more and definitely can reach slightly smaller orbital radius.
    HOWEVER, the energy required to acutally overcome the escaspe velocity from the sun, would be so large that the it would far sooner destroy the structural integrity of the mantle first, then potentially the (already superheated) core which would be (more) free to vent through the ruptured surface and likely rip the planet apart.
  6. Jan 6, 2016 #5
    Dang. I was gonna try it.
  7. Jan 7, 2016 #6
    A bunch of crackpots could all vote for Trump for US president... That might work =)
  8. Jan 7, 2016 #7
    If you want it completely obliterated I guess the cleanest way to go is figure out how to get it lose orbital momentum and eventually fall in to the Sun.
    In order do to this though you'll need to have something like a small black hole at your disposal,
    (although if you didn't have one handy, maybe nudging Jupiter here and there a bit might do the trick)
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  9. Jan 7, 2016 #8


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    It is very hard to destroy Earth - even with serious science and a budget of trillions, we could not do it today.

    If you want to go for smaller effects:
    - you can reduce the mass: launch stuff to space.
    - you can change the rotation speed: move stuff to the poles to speed it up, or to the equator to slow it down. Or use the local approach.
    Hitting Jupiter would be easier. Hitting Mars is even easier, something planet-like would remain but life will certainly end.
    Easier, not easy...
  10. Jan 10, 2016 #9
    Use time travel. In about 5 billion years the sun will grow to eat the earth.

    Or just wait if you're patient.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook