Some German guy seems to disagree...

In April of 1984 Cecil pontificated on what would happen if a billion people jumped off of a chair at once (basically nothing would happen). Now, here it is 2005 and some goofy website is claiming that a German scientist has calculated that it would only take 300 million people to knock the earth out of orbit and is trying to gather together the people to do it. I hope this is a joke…

Man, they no sooner re-unify, and once again it’s back to world destruction :smack:

It’s almost certainly a “joke” site. No one can find the German scientist who supposedly did the study.

And the physics are well-explained by Cecil. It’s not true.

I suspect it is a vehicle for T-shirt sales and other such merchandise.

Yeah, it’s pretty ludicrous to think that it would actually be possible, but I was just wondering if the makers of the site know that. By “I hope it’s a joke” I meant “for the sake of my faith in the general intelligence of humanity, I hope it’s a joke”… heh… I think it’s great though that Cecil tackled a subject over two decades ago that is generating activity on the web now. Hooray for the prophetic Cecil!

Oh… for the sake of totally blowing this silly website’s theory out of the water… here are some calculations by a poster on another forum…

"I decided that people weren’t jumping…that instead we would take all the people on the earth, and smash them into the earth as a huge meteor travelling at much faster than jumping speeds.
6 billion people, at 200 pounds per person = 1.2 Trillion pounds.

A cubic foot of water is about 64 pounds.

So all the people on the earth weigh as much as 18 billion cubic feet of water. (1.2 trillion divided by 64 = 18 billion)

This is a big blob of water that is almost exactly a half-mile per side (2640ft ^ 3 is 18 billion cubic feet)

At this point, I went to the University of Arizona Impact Effects page.

I suggested that it was a big piece of ice, and slammed it into the earth at an ASTOUNDING 0.1 miles per second. (Remember that we are just jumping up and down here, and that force is a component of velocity^2.)

The resulting force was about 850 kilotons of TNT. A small atomic bomb. Big, but not enough to have significant impact on the earth’s course.

When I told the program that the meteor was actually made of iron, instead of ice, it jumped up to 7 megatons. "


If you accept that they “made up” the name of the German scientist, then they probably are the originators of this crap.

Are we talking about the Earth here, or the website? :dubious:

Everyone knows Earth is merely the white lab rats’ way of getting humans to buy Rat Chow.

Why would the substance (Fe or H2O) matter? Force is mass times velocity2. Mass is the same regardless of its source. Perhaps I missunderstood something?

I think he specified the volume of the object hitting the Earth, not its mass. An 18 ft[sup]3[/sup] blob of iron weight much more than an 18 ft[sup]3[/sup] blob of ice (or water).

Argh! That’s “weighs” more, not “weight” more. It should probably be “is more massive than” anyway.

True, but you need the mass to find the force. Perhaps the conversion that I d/n think of is density; that would be a function of volume and mass. :smack:

Also, weight would change depending on gravitational force. That’s why I keep refering to the mass as it is constant. However we ARE talking about the Earth, so we can calculate the force by weight.

why bother collecting all those people? Nikola Tesla devised a way to split the earth the same way split an iron bar and almost leveled his apartment buiding - harmonic oscillation. His method involved a LARGE quantity of dynamite, exploded at regular intervals, which would quicken the frequency of the earth, so forth…

Large indeed. By my back-of-the-envelope figuring, the dynamite needed would outweigh the Earth. Conservation of energy still applies, regardless of how one applies the energy.

Right now, someone on Betelgeuse 5 is wearing a T-shirt that reads, “My parents visitied Earth and all they brought back is this stupid shirt!”

What ignorance! It’s not “white lab rats”, it’s all colors of mice, and it (the earth) is actually a giant computer performing calculation on their behalf.

Someone should inform the people at that website that if people jump all around the world at the same time, and not just on one side, there may be a cataclysmic implosion, destroying all life. Oh wait, they’ve got some “scientific research,” never mind. I was worried there.

i like the german scientist’s interview, filmed in a plain room, with a half-assed, half-folded earth poster and a couple of books on a shelf. if that doesn’t give it away, nothing will.

yes, they’re selling t-shirts and bumper stickers (bumper-stickers are as german as the leaning tower of pisa) but i’d like to think that they’re trying to get a bunch of people to jump at the same time and look very silly in the process!