Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How many atoms thick is the average human hair?

I guess the question is pretty self-explanatory, but here's some backstory if anyone cares:



A while back in high school, I joked that if everyone on Earth was an atom thick (a group of us was hanging out with this cool physics teacher after school, and we were talking about the effects of a black hole on a person), that we would all have to 'come together' to form the thickness of a human hair. Today, I suddenly remembered that, and now I'd like to know if I was totally off, or if I was actually close.



How many atoms thick is the average human hair?

Human hair is about 70 micrometer thick.



Diameters of atoms are 0.1-0.5 nm



I will use diameter of carbon atom, since



we are carbon-based life:



Diamter of carbon atom is 0.22 nm



Thus hair is 70 micrometers/ 0.22nm = 300,000 atoms thick



How many atoms thick is the average human hair?

there are approximately 4.543 X 10^55 atoms in a human hair.



The hair is made up of diCalcium PentafFlouride TetraHydrate

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