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Potential nuclear energy

  1. Jan 9, 2008 #1
    Here is a newbie, goofball question. How much potential nuclear or atomic energy is there in the human body? I know a little about the energy released in a nuclear bomb. I know that this is not applicable to the human body. But if, one were able to release the "nuclear binding energy" in each atom in the human body, what would that energy be? Do I need to restructure that question?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2008 #2


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    Suggestion regarding restructuring the question; maybe if all the elements in the body lighter than iron were fused and all those heavier were fissioned?
  4. Jan 11, 2008 #3
    If you are asking how much atomic energy in the body in the form of fissionable material you would have to know what amount of that material the body contains. If you just want to know the total conversion figure (a fission bomb only releases about 3% and a fusion bomb about 7%) then you simply use Einstein's famous formula - E=M*Csquared.

    But first you have to understand the formula and the terms it works with. to wit.....

    E= energy in Joules One Joule is the aproximate equivalent of dropping a medium sized text book to the floor from chest height.

    M= Mass in Kilograms

    Csquared= the speed of light in kilometers / second squared which is 300,000 KM/sec squared.

    So what you would get for a 120 KG body is 120 X (300,000 X 300,000) Joules of total energy released if the mass is totally converted to energy.
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