Thursday, January 10, 2008
How to destroy the Earth, part 2
You will need: a universal fission machine (e.g. a particle accelerator), an unimaginable amount of energy
Method: Take every single atom on planet Earth and individually split each one down to become hydrogen and helium. Fissioning heavier elements to become hydrogen and helium is the opposite of the self-sustaining reaction that powers the Sun: it requires you to put energy in which is why the energy requirements here are so vast.
Earth's final resting place: While Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are gas giants composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, they are massive enough to actually hold on to their tenuous atmospheres. The Earth is not; the gases would dissipate away. You'd get a wispy mess of gas where there should have been a planet.
Feasibility rating: 2/10. Technically possible, but, again, hopelessly, mind-bogglingly inefficient and time-consuming. You're looking at billions of years minimum, folks.
Source: This method suggested by John Routledge.