Jump to content

What would be the easiest way to OBLITERATE THE ENTIRE PLANET?


Kerbface
 Share

Recommended Posts

I think the total effective force of particle collisions in the LHC is about the same as two mosquitoes flying into each other?

People are mostly worried about it creating blackholes, but those wouldn't do any harm honestly, I explained it earlier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

People are mostly worried about it creating blackholes, but those wouldn't do any harm honestly, I explained it earlier.

I was more or less just trying to put some perspective on how much energy would be required to create a massive singularity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was more or less just trying to put some perspective on how much energy would be required to create a massive singularity.

To create a massive singularity, you need... more mass. And that's all what black holes are about, how massive they are. Yes, the energy implied in the collisions within the LHC are extremely low, but they are focused on an incredibly small point, and that makes all the difference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kerbface, it turns out you're right. Here's how much energy is needed to destroy the Earth, expressed in terms of THE TOTAL OUTPUT OF THE SUN.

Deorbit whole Earth into Sun: 80 days

Push whole Earth into Jupiter: 50 days

Blow Earth apart in-place: 7 days

I am too lazy to do the math on this, but if you use massdrivers to hurl chunks of Earth as propulsion, you might be able to push *some* of the Earth (say, Australia) into Jupiter with less energy than blowing it apart, by grinding up the rest of the Earth and turning it into an "exhaust" trail consisting of buckets of rock in a deadly cloud of comet-like orbits. With each bucket thrown, the Earth's mass decreases, so like a rocket its TWR increases.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kerbface, it turns out you're right. Here's how much energy is needed to destroy the Earth, expressed in terms of THE TOTAL OUTPUT OF THE SUN.

Deorbit whole Earth into Sun: 80 days

Push whole Earth into Jupiter: 50 days

Blow Earth apart in-place: 7 days

Someone forgot the idea of the gravity assist at Venus again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To create a massive singularity, you need... more mass. And that's all what black holes are about, how massive they are. Yes, the energy implied in the collisions within the LHC are extremely low, but they are focused on an incredibly small point, and that makes all the difference.

When most people hear "big bang levels of energy" they tend to think gigantic explosion. When you tell them "so small if it happened on the table right in front of you, you'd barely even hear it", dreams of particle accelerated super weapons and Earth consuming black holes tend to vanish pretty quickly. That's all I was aiming at...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone forgot the idea of the gravity assist at Venus again.

Didn't forget, consciously ignored because I didn't think it could possibly reduce the energy required by 86%. But let's look at it... The question was, which takes more energy, moving Earth to Jupiter or blowing it up in place? Just the first step, pushing Earth to Venus orbit, still takes nearly three times as much energy (19 days of Sun's output) as just blowing Earth up where it is, so the Venus gravity assist has already lost before the rest of the math is finished. Beyond that, I don't know how to do math on gravity assists, Venus is LESS massive than Earth so what little I do know tells me the effect isn't going to be earth-shattering (heh) even if the planets pass so close they nearly tear each other apart with tidal forces, and there will still need to be more energy to make up the rest of the change from Earth-Venus transit orbit to Jupiter.

So here's your revised chart:

Deorbit whole Earth into Sun: 80 days

Push whole Earth into Jupiter: 50 days

Push Earth into Jupiter via Venus: no less than 19 days, probably much more

Crashing Earth into Venus: 19 days

Crashing Venus into Earth: 15 days

Blow Earth apart in-place: 7 days The winnah, and still cham-peen!!

Would an Earth-Venus collision even destroy Earth? I dunno. Venus is 81.5% the mass of Earth. Earth took a hit from a Mars-sized object (11% Earth mass) early on, and all it did was scuff off enough dust to make the Moon. Earth is a tough old girl.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kerbface, it turns out you're right. Here's how much energy is needed to destroy the Earth, expressed in terms of THE TOTAL OUTPUT OF THE SUN.

Deorbit whole Earth into Sun: 80 days

Push whole Earth into Jupiter: 50 days

Blow Earth apart in-place: 7 days

I am too lazy to do the math on this, but if you use massdrivers to hurl chunks of Earth as propulsion, you might be able to push *some* of the Earth (say, Australia) into Jupiter with less energy than blowing it apart, by grinding up the rest of the Earth and turning it into an "exhaust" trail consisting of buckets of rock in a deadly cloud of comet-like orbits. With each bucket thrown, the Earth's mass decreases, so like a rocket its TWR increases.

Ooh, that's interesting, but perhaps instead of mass drivers we use the Orion method, use nuclear bombs to propel Earth matter out of orbit? Possibility?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't forget, consciously ignored because I didn't think it could possibly reduce the energy required by 86%. But let's look at it... The question was, which takes more energy, moving Earth to Jupiter or blowing it up in place? Just the first step, pushing Earth to Venus orbit, still takes nearly three times as much energy (19 days of Sun's output) as just blowing Earth up where it is, so the Venus gravity assist has already lost before the rest of the math is finished. Beyond that, I don't know how to do math on gravity assists, Venus is LESS massive than Earth so what little I do know tells me the effect isn't going to be earth-shattering (heh) even if the planets pass so close they nearly tear each other apart with tidal forces, and there will still need to be more energy to make up the rest of the change from Earth-Venus transit orbit to Jupiter.

So here's your revised chart:

Deorbit whole Earth into Sun: 80 days

Push whole Earth into Jupiter: 50 days

Push Earth into Jupiter via Venus: no less than 19 days, probably much more

Crashing Earth into Venus: 19 days

Crashing Venus into Earth: 15 days

Blow Earth apart in-place: 7 days The winnah, and still cham-peen!!

Would an Earth-Venus collision even destroy Earth? I dunno. Venus is 81.5% the mass of Earth. Earth took a hit from a Mars-sized object (11% Earth mass) early on, and all it did was scuff off enough dust to make the Moon. Earth is a tough old girl.

Less massive doesn't mean there will be no effects. Venus is still pretty massive. What it means is that Earth would probably steal most of Venus's orbital velocity, leaving her on an highly eccentric orbit probably going lower than Mercury's orbit, if not on an impact course with the Sun, although I doubt the Earth is massive enough to deorbit Venus in one flyby.

I don't know the formulas for orbital velocity and all that stuff are. But let's just give a rough estimate and say Earth can pick up 60% of Venus's speed with a close flyby. That should send us quite far up. Maybe not to Jupiter, but pretty far. Timed correctly, we could probably even get a small gravity assist from Mars too. And if that doesn't throw at or further than Jupiter's orbit, it will be rather near. It'S likely that Jupiter could even do the job by herself, being that massive it has the tendency of being disturbing to the orbit of objects around it. Probably within a few lucky orbits the gravitational tides could put us near Jupiter, then it's a matter of time.

Anyway, now about sending Earth to a Venus intercept. Why make things complicated and energy costly when there's so much potential and kinetic energy all around us? Plenty of asteroids just asking for a bit of love. Modifying an asteroid's orbit to set it on periodic encounter's with Earth would slowly modify it's orbit.

There'S two way to do things: Fast an violent, like blowing up stuff. Or the long but efficient method. The thing here isn't to destroy the Earth within a restricted time limit. As far as I know, there's no time limit. Yes, it could be long, but it could be extremely energy efficient if we do it correctly. This 19 days of the Sun's energical output could be greatly reduced to just a one or two days if we take our time.

Also I'd just like to know how you would destroy the Earth with that seven day's of the Sun's energy with our current technology. I'm curious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think slow and steady into Jupiter, or the Sun itself, is the only way based on available energy sources. Unless of course you can turn all of the worlds sand into glass and get started on my giant death ray, or make power plants run on paper clips.

Also, Venus would have to reverse orbit and hit us head on to even stand a chance of obliterating Earth. Most likely we'd just end up looking like Mars with a binary moon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know the formulas for orbital velocity and all that stuff are. But let's just give a rough estimate and say Earth can pick up 60% of Venus's speed with a close flyby.

I know it's possible to exit a gravity assist with as much as 200% the target object's velocity plus the velocity you started the encounter with, but that's assuming the target object is so much bigger than you that you can pretend it's infinite and immovable. I also know gravity assists are less efficient the further you are from the target object, and that if Earth and Venus get too close they'll start tearing chunks from each other (that's not a bad thing when you're trying to destroy planets, but it is if you want to throw one in a particular direction), so there is going to be an upper limit. Is 60% reasonable? Too high? Too low? Beats me, and I don't like to pull numbers from thin air. I don't deny that a Venus slingshot is a cheaper way to get to Jupiter than going directly, but the energy required, whatever system you use to put that energy into Earth, cannot possibly be less than disassembling Earth where it is.

Anyway, now about sending Earth to a Venus intercept. Why make things complicated and energy costly when there's so much potential and kinetic energy all around us? Plenty of asteroids just asking for a bit of love. Modifying an asteroid's orbit to set it on periodic encounter's with Earth would slowly modify it's orbit.

That is one way of accomplishing it, but I don't think it's going to be any more efficient if you put a certain amount of energy to fly an asteroid past Earth and accelerate Earth by a little gravitational coupling, than to just put that same energy into pushing Earth directly. I can't prove it though. I wonder if there are even enough asteroids; the entire belt put together only weighs 4% as much as the Moon.

There'S two way to do things: Fast an violent, like blowing up stuff. Or the long but efficient method. The thing here isn't to destroy the Earth within a restricted time limit. As far as I know, there's no time limit. Yes, it could be long, but it could be extremely energy efficient if we do it correctly. This 19 days of the Sun's energical output could be greatly reduced to just a one or two days if we take our time.

Also I'd just like to know how you would destroy the Earth with that seven day's of the Sun's energy with our current technology. I'm curious.

I only said that's how much energy it takes. It will take at least that much energy no matter what the technology is. I didn't say it would take any particular period of time, I just used days of the Sun's output as a way I could compare numbers for amounts of energy I can't possibly grasp otherwise. If you want to spread the matter of the Earth apart far enough that it doesn't pull itself back together again, whether in one blast or a slow push, it takes 2.2405*1032 kg*m2/s. That looks like a big number to me but I have no real idea what it means. The Sun puts out 3.86*1026 kg*m2/s every second, also big and scary and meaningless to me. But divide one into the other and you find the minimum energy for destroying Earth is equivalent to 540,440 seconds, or 6.7 days, of the Sun's total output. Do it in an instant or spread it over eternity, this is the absolute minimum it takes to overcome gravity.

Similarly, to move Earth as far as Venus to set up that first slingshot takes a certain minimum amount of energy. Do it however you want: push the Earth, push asteroids that pull the Earth, push Mars and play interplanetary 8-ball, doesn't matter. No matter how you deliver the energy, it's still going to take nearly three times as much energy as blowing Earth apart just to get as far as Venus, with yet more energy needed to finish the job. We can make it LESS efficient if we want to, we can waste as much energy as we want, but we can't make it any more efficient than this perfect-world minimum.

As far as method goes, I'm still partial to the massdriver idea. It's on the edge of current technology, I admit, but I'm with you on this point: long but efficient FTW. Centuries? Longer? Wait a second, maybe it WOULD use even less energy, since as you slowly reduce the mass of the remaining Earth, each shot needs less energy to overcome its gravity... nope, that's balanced out by the early shots having the entire planet dragging them back, it'll work out to the same as just scattering the whole planet in a single blast. You win again, physics!!

Anyhow, the numbers and equations I used are mostly on this page, plus a couple numbers (mean distance of Venus from Sun, etc) looked up on Wikipedia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's quite a few asteroids that go around the Earth's orbit. It doesn't have to be a monster, a 50km asteroid would probably do the job well enough. Moving one to bring it on close periodical encounters, would not take that much energy. Just about the kind of energy you need to send off a large satellite near it to act as a gravitational tug. If it's in a favourable orbit already, a few well placed nukes could probably do the job too. Then, all you need is time (probably around a few thousand years) while gravity does it's job and slowly shifts the Earth's orbit inwards. Viva la galactic 8 ball.

As for The Venus assist you have to consider the fact that it won't be immovable indeed. The total momentum has to be conserved, so going away with 100% of Venus's orbital speed would mean Earth just ate it all away, and Venus is now stationary (actually it's even going backwards since the Earth is more massive) So 60% sounds like a reasonable number to me. And yeah, probably we'd need to get close, probably a few chunks would fall off, but hey, our final destination is probably going to melt what's left of the planet then.

The mass driver idea isn't bad, but after a certain period of time doing it and spreading the matter around, you'll come to a point where you can't do it anymore. The idea on paper works, but if you consider how everything would evolve on Earth as you do this, you'll end up with less gravity as you do so, and exposing the mantle, and all this wacky stuff. You have to keep the machine working, and through time, this won't be possible anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it me or are people missing the point of the easiest part in the title?

Wouldn't the easiest be just to leave it? O.o It would get destroyed all on it's own.

I think that breaks the purpose of what OP meant, I think it's goal is more to know how we could destroy the planet with our current technology.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that breaks the purpose of what OP meant, I think it's goal is more to know how we could destroy the planet with our current technology.

Given the "Sci Fi Theory" topic, more like "not-so-current" technology.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IT has this tag because you know, no one is gonna attempt that, and it doesn't really fit under any other tag.

Well, then the answer would probably be just "it's impossible with current technology"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I think I'll add a qualifier in to make it plausible as some evil superpowers plan. What is the easiest way to destroy the Earth within one person's lifetime, using current or expectedly plausible semi-near future technology.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obtain/create a universal catalyst which causes any nearby molecules at any temperature to react into different compounds, and re-producing the universal catalyst. Once you have obtained/created the universal catalyst drop it out of magnetic vacuum suspension. How the Earth would end up would be anyone's guess (or the universe, given enough time) but it's an interesting concept.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...