1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Number of atoms in a cell

  1. May 20, 2004 #1

    mee

    User Avatar

    I know there are trillions of cells in an adult human body but how many atoms are in each cell?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2004 #2

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Very crude: What does the average adult weigh, devide by the number of cells. What are the most common atoms in a cell and what are their relative abundancies, what do they weigh on average. Divide the weight of a cell by the average weight of the atoms represented in a cell.. and there you get your number :)

    Maybe someone already figured it out and you can find it on Google :)
     
  4. May 21, 2004 #3

    arildno

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Even cruder, but it should be an upper bound on the number of atoms in a cell:
    Let V be the average volume of a cell.
    Then we should have the inequality for the number n atoms in a cell:
    [tex]n\leq\frac{V}{\frac{4}{3}\pi{R}^{3}}[/tex]

    Where R is an average value for an atomic radius
     
  5. May 21, 2004 #4

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    But how much space is taken up by the 3D structure of a molecule, and how much space is there between molecules..
     
  6. May 21, 2004 #5

    arildno

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    That's why it's such an awfully crude upper bound :smile:
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Number of atoms in a cell
  1. Somatic cells (Replies: 1)

Loading...