- #1

Dreksler

- 14

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- TL;DR Summary
- My calculation says 5.1 quadrillion kg yet the frequently mentioned one says 5.1 quintillion kg.

So I just realized that on the internet the number that frequently pops up with regards to the total mass of the Earth's atmosphere is 5,100,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms. For example, the number is mentioned two times on the Wikipedia page for the Earth's atmosphere, there are more examples. Yet per square meter of surface, there is 100,000 pascals of pressure, which is 10,000 kilograms-force per meter square. The Earth's surface area is 510,000,000,000 meters. Multiplying 510,000,000,000 meters with 10,000 kilograms gets you the number of 5,100,000,000,000,000 kilograms and not the number of 5,100,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms, which is the number frequently mentioned. Am I missing something here?