## View Poll Results: See the post

Voters
40. You may not vote on this poll
• Increased

18 45.00%
• Decreased

7 17.50%
• Stayed the same

5 12.50%
• I dont know but i do care

3 7.50%
• I neither know nor care

7 17.50%

# the earth - heavier or lighter

This is a discussion on the earth - heavier or lighter within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Mass is directly proportional to the amount of heat (energy) in an object If you double the temperature of an ...

1. Mass is directly proportional to the amount of heat (energy) in an object
If you double the temperature of an object you do not double its mass.

There is a mass associated with the K.E of an object, (or the sum of kinetic energies of its constituent parts) but that mass is almost always miniscule compared to the rest mass.

2. an increase of 10 degrees celsius would increase the weight of a one pound cube of gold by about a millionth of a billionth of a pound.

Therefore the kinetic energy difference between a 'hot' and 'cold' earth might actually have a substantial mass contribution

3. Hmm fair point, i'm estimating a 10 degree loss in the temperature of the Earth translating into a loss of 10^11 Kg!

Now having said that i can't seem to find any info on what kind of total temperature change is likely to have occured since the core appears to be self-heating through radioactive decay.

4. http://www.expanding-earth.org/

the main claim is that it's expanding, but in the proof it shows the mass is increasing also.

5. Some scientists may dispute the notion that additional solid matter is created from solar energy by photosynthesis in plants and other living organisms, but they should consider coal beds that were formed in the Carboniferous (~360 to ~290 Ma) from living trees, and, on today’s surface, piles of leaves and wood chips are rapidly converted to soil by nematodes. They should also consider the massive deposits of limestone created by marine fauna (fish, coral, bivalves, microfossils, etc.) in earlier epochs
This seems horribly confused.

6. Indeed. Photosynthesis stores the sun's energy by using it to convert some chemicals that are low on energy (carbon dioxide, water) into some that are high on energy (oxygen, sugar). If you want, you can claim that energy equals mass and thus some mass is generated. However, you must not forget that this mass/energy relation is scaled by the light speed squared, in other words, the resulting mass is absurdly small.

7. Niiice! Now instead of figuring things out, we can just vote on it! =)

8. Indeed. Photosynthesis stores the sun's energy by using it to convert some chemicals that are low on energy (carbon dioxide, water) into some that are high on energy (oxygen, sugar). If you want, you can claim that energy equals mass and thus some mass is generated. However, you must not forget that this mass/energy relation is scaled by the light speed squared, in other words, the resulting mass is absurdly small
Well indeed but the way its phrased seems to imply something else:

"coal beds that were formed in the Carboniferous (~360 to ~290 Ma) from living trees"

"They should also consider the massive deposits of limestone created by marine fauna (fish, coral, bivalves, microfossils, etc.) in earlier epochs"

and "on today’s surface, piles of leaves and wood chips are rapidly converted to soil by nematodes"

All suggest the author thinks that all of the mass associated with coal, or limestone somehow jumps into existence. None of the processes he lists (limestone deposition, coal formation, and respiration) actually increase the mass of the Earth at all.

9. >>This seems horribly confused<<

And more than a little absurd. Still, in fairness, ~1% of visible light is 'fixed' by photosynthesis - the recycling of carbon, nitrogen etc. should obviously be ignored as it's just that: recycling what's essentially already there (except as noted below).

The process of accretion is ongoing (except, perhaps, as noted earlier in the thread regarding the currently most favoured model concerning the formation of the Moon), assuming the accretion model of planetary formation is correct. If you're fortunate enough to be able to look up at a part of the night sky which is not polluted by city lights then it won't take you long to see, unaided, a small subsample of the crap constantly raining down on us. For those interested in back-of-the-envelope-type calculations, then the micrometeoroid flux may be of some interest, although that article only discusses those micrometeoroids within a certain range of masses (more here).

Contributions to mass would also come from those particles of the solar wind which are funnelled via the Earth's magnetic field into the polar atmosphere, giving rise to the northern and southern 'lights', although that process may actually result in a net loss of atmosphere. There would also be a component of the solar wind that would punch through the magnetic field, either because it was electrically neutral (eg, neutral atoms) or was of sufficient energy to only experience some deceleration as they ploughed through (presumably, the particle flux of the solar wind follows some kind of known energy distribution?).

In addition, there is a constant flux of cosmic rays which would also result in a mass increase over geological time. Consider the case of carbon 14 formation in the atmosphere from nitrogen 14 (n,p reaction: absorption of a neutron by N14, followed by proton emission). The hydrogen that results is unlikely to have the escape velocity to 'diffuse/leak' from the atmosphere, although this is likely to be temperature dependant. N14 (stable) can also be converted to O16(stable) by absorption of 2 neutrons (firstly by conversion to stable N15, then unstable N16) followed by beta emission. While not specific to this discussion, this article may be of some interest - particularly to those who live in Colorado.

10. And more than a little absurd. Still, in fairness, ~1% of visible light is 'fixed' by photosynthesis - the recycling of carbon, nitrogen etc. should obviously be ignored as it's just that: recycling what's essentially already there (except as noted below).
I don't think photosynthesis will actually have any effect, other than altering part of the spectrum, atleast not when you factor in the effects of respiration (which will turn the added mass back into heat).

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The meteorite flux looks to be between 10^7 - 10^9 Kg per year. (Which negates the 10^4 Kg per year that leaves through heat loss, and presumeably is orders of magnitude higher than mass gains through solar wind or cosmic rays).

Of course as mentioned the moon trumps all of these influences, weighing in at a loss of 10^22 Kg.

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