The Weight of a Cubic Mile of Air

It seems to have always been a core tactic of religions to appeal to mystery. As you say it is is ironic when they try to create such a bluff with people who actually understand the maths, and probability.

Though even an dullard like always smiles when they talk about how unlikely an outcome is, that has already happened, only for them to violate Occam’s razor by adding unevidenced deities from archaic superstitions, ironically using magic that has no explanatory powers whatsoever.

Agreed, and the hilarity of this latest clown trying to double down on his claims, even after they were thoroughly rinsed by @Nyarlathotep and @Get_off_my_lawn, was the first belly laugh this clown provided.

The ame old scatter gun approach, by a drive by proselytiser with a chip on his shoulder that others don’t share his beliefs in ancient superstitions. Though I suppose there is some humour in someone who at every turn asserts to despise atheists and atheism, coming to an atheist debate forum, but that was the only part of his tedious idiocy that raised a smile.

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You’re from the Seattle area as well? It really is a small world after all isn’t it?

I came up with 5,750,000 tons.

My calculations are based on certian assumptions, so other people using different assumptions may get slightly different answers.

  1. Air density remains the same for the whole cubic mile when–in reality–air gets less dense as one climbs in altitude, so I assumed a cubic mile close to sea level, and spread out like a sprawling rectangle.
  2. 1 cubic foot of air at 14.7 PSI (sea level) weighs about 1.25 ounces.
  3. Does not take temperature into consideration, as air density changes with temp.

I calculated as follows:

5280×5280×5280=147,197,952,000 cubic feet

147,197,952,000×1.25=183,997,440,000 ounces

183,997,440,000÷16=11,499,840,000 pounds

11,499,840,000÷2,000=5,749,920 tons

Round 5,749,920 to 5,750,000 tons

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Hey, that is within 25% of the other person’s estimate.

Now the hard math question:

What is the probability that you will get that ten dollars?


Oh oh oh, me me me, I know this one, it’s nil isn’t it? Is it? I’ll get me coat… :smirk:

The average person on the street thinks 5/0 = 0 (if you think that is the case, put it into a calculator).
If you think air doesn’t have weight, go talk to a scuba diver, (a full tank is noticeably heavier than an empty one).


I’m curious, Tin has not even been a part of the conversation, and yet he keeps attacking him. What’s up with that? What did Tin ever do to deserve such treatment?


Psssst! He has no heart… :wink:

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You came to his “cockpit” and wore his “hat”? This is downright scandalous. Did you “fly his plane”? Definitely more fun than atheists; and most pornstars incidentally.

Airplane porn, incidentally, is one of my favorite porn genres. In fact, if I’m being honest. I was recently on a flight out of Peru and, as you may know, the Peruvian women are some of the most beautiful in the world - what with their Incan ancestry and that Spanish dash of beauty.

And, flight attendants? Come on. They’re ALWAYS hot!!! But you did it with the captain? Wow. That’s every flight attendant’s dream. And all you had to do was measure the weight of a square mile of oxygen. Fuck. Some Christians have all the luck.

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So I have had a rank smell in the kitchen for a week or so, and being “Sheldon” tore the kitchen appart looking for the source. Today located the condensate drip tray at the back of my brand new fridge freezer, son of a bitch, I has gotta strong stomach, no lie, s’true, I could empty a rat’s bin and be fine. I dipped my hand in the tray as it is is hard to get to, and smelled it, a full minute retching into the kitchen sink…so then I filled the sink with scalding hot soapy water to wash it, but not until I’d removed the tray from back of fridge, (outside, the inside of my fridge is spotless I might add) and tried to run it under the tap, it splashed all over me and the floor, funny story, I screamed my head off, and invented some new vituperations. anyway s’clean now, and all the windows are wide open, smell gone more or less, have washed my hands about a gazillion times… :face_with_raised_eyebrow: :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I once washed a bin in work with bleach and scrubbed it with rags by hand, when no one else would even drag it outside into the car park, some lazy fecker had thrown food waste in it without replacing the black bag liner, phew - it was June and wiffy, I didn’t bat an eye, the memory of the smell from tray from the (outside) back of my fridge I just washed is still making my eyes water, and I may have PTSD… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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I once did the exact same thing. It was after a heavy rain at one of those eggnog parties. Tin said he kept hearing the ocean in his ears and wanted me to take off his stupid-looking funnel hat to see what was happening inside. I didn’t think there was anything that smelled worse than monkey butt. I was wrong.

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Yeah, I admit that was embarrassing. On the plus side, though, I have since made some modifications and added discrete vent holes to my hat. Speaking of which…

Yo, P.C.! I’M the only one who wears the tin hat around here. All these other nimrods aren’t even remotely classy enough to properly sport such a defining accessory item. Besides, what you got against tin hats, anyway? Am I maybe detecting some sort of jealousy, perhaps? :thinking: You should be careful, big guy. Envy is a sin. :green_heart: Your god would be so disappointed with you. Oh, wait… :thinking:… On second thought, your god might actually be PROUD of you. After all, by his OWN admission, he IS a jealous god. And we all know how Christians always want to be more god-like. But I digress…

So this whole “weight of air” thing is actually interesting to me. Having been a skydiver, a SCUBA diver, and an aircraft pilot at various points in my life, you can imagine the air and how it is affected at various altitudes and depths was (is) fairly important to me. (It’s a damn shame we poor tight-ass atheists don’t know how to have any fun. :disappointed:) Thankfully, as you have already learned, we have some rather gifted math-masters on this site. Therefore, they have already explained the technical aspects of your requested calculation far better than I ever could. And I wholeheartedly agree with and understand the need for considerably more data to properly perform the calculation. Granted, I may not have the necessary skills to do the calculations myself, but I look at it as a learning opportunity, nonetheless. I find it interesting, however, how you seem more inclined to toss out (LAME) insults to everybody correcting you (or even asking pertinent questions), rather than having a civil discussion that might possibly expand your knowledge. Gee, it’s almost as if you came here with the sole intention of being confrontational for no good reason. Hey, just an observation.

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Are you asserting my rolling pin and banana are not classy accessories? “Thems fighting words!”
Someone is tossing out lame insults again… Damn! I hate those sorts of people!

Damn, you walking poster child for used door mats, clean the toe jam out of your mangy ears already. I never said your rolling pin and banana are not classy. You actually wear them quite well. They even give you a distinguished stride when you walk. I simply said nobody else here is classy enough to sport my tin noggin cover. So cool yer jest an’ quit yer bitchin’! Sheesh! :roll_eyes:

Oh, uh, you caught that, did you?.. (nervous chuckle)… Yeah, well, I was hoping I could slip that in there and nobody would notice. But, Nnnn-oooooo, you just HAD to point that out, huh? I swear, why do y’all make it so damn difficult to be hypocritical around here?.. (frustrated heavy sigh)…


Review this link for relevant information =How much does 1 cubic mile of air weigh? - Answers

If a cubic mile of air at sea level weighs as much as you claim why aren’t things crushed flat considering the height of the atmosphere?

Making lots of assumptions about temperature, pressure, humidity, etc, I come up with 5,630,000 tons.

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This is somewhat akin to asking why, if the earth is a globe, does not Australians fall off it?

That is, you’re asking the wrong question.

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But anyway, this again… Here is a quick and dirty Python program to calculate the weight of a “standard” air column per square metre of a given height using the barometric formula and data lifted from Wikipedia:

import math
import scipy.integrate as integrate

g0  = 9.80665 #	Earth-surface gravitational acceleration [m/s2]
M  = 0.0289644 # Molar mass Earth's air [kg/mol]
R0 = 8.3144598 # Universal gas constant [Nm/(mol·K)]


def rho(h):
    # Geopotential height [m], Mass density [kg/m3],
    # Standard temperature [K], and Temperature lapse rate [K/m]
    if h < 10_000:
        h_b, rho_b, T_b, L_b = 0.0, 1.2250, 288.15, 0.0065
    elif h < 20_000:
        h_b, rho_b, T_b, L_b = 11_000.0, 0.36391, 216.65, None
    elif h < 32_000:
        h_b, rho_b, T_b, L_b = 20_000.0, 0.08803, 216.65, -0.001
    elif h < 47_000:
        h_b, rho_b, T_b, L_b = 32_000.0, 0.01322, 228.65, -0.0028
    elif h < 51_000:
        h_b, rho_b, T_b, L_b = 47_000.0, 0.00143, 270.65, None
    elif h < 71_000:
        h_b, rho_b, T_b, L_b = 51_000.0, 0.00086, 270.65, 0.0028
        h_b, rho_b, T_b, L_b = 71_000.0, 0.000064, 214.65, 0.002
    if L_b is None:
        rho = rho_b * math.exp(-g0*M*(h-h_b) / (R0*T_b))
        rho = rho_b * ((T_b + (h-h_b)*L_b) / T_b)**(g0*M/(R0*L_b) - 1.0)
    return rho

for hmax_km in [1, 1.6, 3, 10, 30, 70]:
    mass_per_sqm = integrate.quad(rho, 0, hmax_km*1000, limit=100)
    print(f'hmax = {hmax_km} km => air mass = {int(mass_per_sqm[0])} kg/m2')

The program calculates the mass over an area of 1 square meter from ground level and up to 1 km, 1.6 km, 3 km, 10 km, 30 km, and 70 km. Above this, there is very little point in continuing, so I stopped there. The output is the following:

hmax = 1 km => air mass = 1285 kg/m2
hmax = 1.6 km => air mass = 2116 kg/m2
hmax = 3 km => air mass = 4244 kg/m2
hmax = 10 km => air mass = 19763 kg/m2
hmax = 30 km => air mass = 24153 kg/m2
hmax = 70 km => air mass = 26281 kg/m2

If you want it for areas larger than 1 square meter, please feel free to multiply the numbers up to your selected area. If you want non-SI units over non-SI areas, feel free to convert it yourself, 'cause I’m not touching US customary units. I stretched as far as explicitly including 1.6 km, and that should be enough.

I suspect that @FILECABINET is still trolling, as he is simply repeating the same beliefs over and over to get a reaction, and ignoring responses. It seems his timeout was not spent on objective introspection of his poor and irrational thought processes.

I may be being too harsh, as it is still possible @FILECABINET simply can’t fathom beyond the most facile level, though given the trouble others have taken to explain his various errors in reasoning, this explanation is losing some traction for me.

In another thread he has returned in a similar vein, and is busy repeating his previous claim to “know that no deities exist”, and seems unable or unwilling to accept there is a difference between disbelieving in any deity or deities (atheism) and his claim, or that his claim carries an epistemological burden of proof he cannot meet, as it is unfalsifiable. Though tellingly he is refusing to engage when asked if he knows what unfalsifiable means, so that much we can be sure is willful ignorance on his part.

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